Can Pregnancy Make Your Teeth Loose?
The short answer is: it can without the proper oral care regimen in place. Pregnancy changes bodies in many different ways and your teeth are no exception. At Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry, we are very familiar with the connection between pregnancy and dental health. Ligaments and bones in the mouth can loosen as the body’s hormones and natural state change. While this doesn’t impact tooth loss, pregnancy can lead to dental problems in some women such as gum disease and tooth decay.
Dental Changes During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, hormonal changes can increase acidity in the mouth, which can result in tooth decay and cavities. Specifically, during the third trimester, the body’s inflammatory response increases the amount of bacteria and plaque that stick to the teeth, often leading to gingivitis if proper care is not given. These bacteria and plaque release toxins that can cause infection in the gums and bones.
Dental Complications from Pregnancy
Pregnancy hormones can increase the risk of gum problems in some women including:
- Gingivitis: this initial stage of gum disease is likely to occur during the second trimester and involves swelling gums and bleeding.
- Periodontal disease: caused by untreated gingivitis.
- Pregnancy epulis (pyogenic granuloma): a red, round growth that appears on the gum.
While most types of pregnancy-caused gum problems resolve after birth, some women may develop gum disease that will need treatment postpartum.
At Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry, we offer diode laser therapy for gum health. This non-invasive treatment kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth and helps to heal damaged gum tissue. The laser penetrates deep below the gumline to seek and destroy the bacteria that cause infection and inflammation. Laser therapy is quick, effective, and completely painless.
Pregnancy hormones soften the ring of muscle that keeps food inside the stomach. Therefore, morning sickness can cover your teeth with destructive stomach acids. Ultimately, repeated vomiting can damage your enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay.
If you’re experiencing morning sickness:
- Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting. Wait an hour before brushing.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
- Follow up with a fluoride mouthwash.
To prevent gagging, try using a toothbrush with a smaller and softer head that’s made for children.
Some women have unusual food cravings while pregnant. If these food cravings involve junk food or unhealthy snacks, which can increase the risk of tooth decay. While sugary foods and drinks are perfectly fine in moderation, be sure to properly clean your teeth after partaking.
Vitamins & Minerals
During pregnancy, you will need to increase the amount of calcium you consume to protect your bones and the needs of your developing baby. Calcium can be derived from a variety of sources such as dairy products and some nuts like almonds.
Vitamin D helps the body properly absorb calcium. Sun exposure can help raise vitamin D levels. However, it can also be found in fatty fish, eggs, margarine, bread, cereal, and more.
Vitamin D helps the body to utilize calcium. Small amounts of sun exposure can help to support vitamin D levels. Take care not to get sunburnt. Supplements are available for calcium as well as vitamin D. Ask your doctor before consumption.
Dental Treatment During Pregnancy
Scheduling frequent dentist appointments during pregnancy can help prevent complications from gum disease and tooth decay. While your teeth may loosen naturally, it’s best to have a professional make sure that there isn’t an underlying reason for concern. Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry in Peoria specializes in diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases. Contact us to make an appointment today.