Your body goes through an incredible amount of change during pregnancy, more than you probably realize. In addition to creating a new life, you may notice thicker hair, skin changes, and even an increase in shoe size. There seems to be no part of the body that cannot be potentially impacted by pregnancy, including teeth and gums.
Changing levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are the culprits behind many of the changes you experience. In the case of dental health, these hormones can affect gum sensitivity and how the gums respond to plaque. Here are some of the changes you may notice throughout pregnancy:
Gingivitis – Pregnancy-induced gingivitis typically occurs during the second trimester of pregnancy. It is hallmarked by swollen, red, and sensitive gums. You may notice that you now experience bleeding gums when trying to brush or floss. In most cases, pregnancy-related gingivitis hits its peak around month 8 and improves thereafter. However, you should maintain regular visits with your dentist to monitor the condition, even following childbirth.
Granuloma – Granulomas are soft tissue growths found on the gums, between teeth. They are typically red to dark purple in color, and while they may bleed easily, they are typically painless. If the granuloma is effecting the position of teeth or is particularly uncomfortable, it may require removal during pregnancy. However, in most cases, these conditions improve following delivery and any necessary removal can be completed after baby is born.
Shifting Teeth – Lots of things move around during pregnancy. Even your internal organs shift their positions to accommodate your growing baby. However, you likely hadn’t considered that your teeth can move too. Tooth mobility during pregnancy is not uncommon. Any shifting typically subsides after pregnancy, but in some cases, adult braces may be required to move teeth back into their correct positions.
Oral Thrush – Candida yeast is always present in the mouth, but it is usually maintained at healthy levels. The hormone shifts during pregnancy can change all that. In these cases, candida multiplies out of control, leaving a white coating on the tongue or inside the cheeks. It is a condition you may also notice in your newborn at some point. Fortunately, it is easily resolved with some anti-fungal medication.
Pregnancy should be a glorious time, but it can often be trying and the body changes difficult to understand and accommodate. Dental health during this time is no different. There is a lot that pregnant women aren’t sure they should or can do. However, keeping up a relationship with your dentist is a definite must. Start by scheduling an examination, and if you are in the Thibodaux area, contact the office of Dr. Sheard Ber. You can request your appointment by clicking here.