Oral health problems in pregnancy can cause discomfort to the women. During pregnancy many physiological changes occur as estrogen and progesterone levels are increased that can exaggerate the way gum tissue reacts to plaque which causes oral health problems in pregnancy. Therefore it is important for women, who are pregnant, to take some extra care of their oral hygiene at home. They should also visit a dentist so that a safe treatment plan is created. In this way the adverse effects of oral diseases during pregnancy can be prevented.
One of the most common oral health problems in pregnancy is “Pregnancy Gingivitis“. It is the inflammation of the gums during the pregnancy period. As one stops taking care of their oral health in pregnancy, this inflammation in gums can occur. It occurs between second and eighth month because of the bacterial infection in the gums. Signs of pregnancy gingivitis are red looking gums which bleeds while brushing teeth and swelling. Pregnancy gingivitis is at peak during third trimester.To prevent this it is important to maintain good oral hygiene, flossing once a day and using antimicrobial mouthwash. Professional dental cleaning is important as well.
Another one of the most common oral health problems in pregnancy is “Periodontitis“. When gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) is untreated, periodontitis occurs. It is an inflammatory response in which the plaque filled with bacteria sticks on the teeth and release toxins. Oral health problems in pregnancy related to this inflammation can worsen it. It do that by creating pockets inside the gums due to the infection. Bone is also affected in periodontitis due to which tooth may become mobile and lost. Later the infection caused by bacteria spreads through the bloodstream.
One of the minor oral health problems in pregnancy is “Pregnancy Tumor“. It is an oral lesion occurring on the gums. It is also known as ‘Epulis of pregnancy’ or ‘Pyogenic Granuloma’. These red lesions or small growths have high number of blood vessels which grow rapidly and can easily bleed. It mostly occur in first trimester and increases with time. It mostly occurs on the anterior gum/gingiva area. It can also be found on the tongue,inner cheek or lips. This usually occurs due to poor oral hygiene or trauma as well. These kinds of oral health problems in pregnancy needs no treatment because it goes away after delivery. If someone is aesthetically concerned can then go for a minor surgery.A biopsy should be made just in case to rule out any cancerous condition.
Tooth Erosion :
“Tooth Erosion” is also one of the most common oral health problems in pregnancy. It is the erosion of the tooth’s upper layer enamel due to acid. Enamel protects the dentin which is underneath it. And when enamel is attacked, the dentin is exposed which causes pain. As women, who are pregnant, experiences morning sickness. This causes vomiting & the acid in the stomach causes tooth erosion by exposing it. Erosion is seen as a hollow or wearing away of the tooth. As it exposes dentin, the teeth becomes sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. Rinsing with a baking soda helps neutralize the acid causing tooth erosion. These oral health problems in pregnancy can be reversed if taken proper oral hygiene care.
Dental Caries/Tooth decay:
“Dental Carries” or “Tooth Decay” are also included in the the most common oral health problems in pregnancy. Pregnancy causes dental caries which is also known as tooth decay as a result of sugary snacks and drinks due to pregnancy cravings. It is also due to the stomach acid. Bacteria causes the sugar in the food into acid and later a sticky substance ‘plaque’ is accumulated on the tooth. This eventually results in tooth decay. Later it causes pain. Then sensitivity after having sweet, cold, hot drinks and foods becomes common. These oral health problems in pregnancy can disturb the patient. Therefore it is important to decrease the amount of sugar intake during pregnancy. And one should make healthier choices like fruits.
One of the most unknown oral health problems in pregnancy is “Tooth Mobility“. Tooth mobility is obvious during gestation and as latter months of pregnancy occurs mobility increases. Bone and ligaments that supports the teeth may temporarily become loose during pregnancy. This causes the tooth to become mobile. These oral health problems in pregnancy may worsen the condition of the tooth. Tooth mobility can be a sign of periodontal diseases which is a serious gum disease. By removing dental plaque brushing and keeping proper dental hygiene may help reverse the tooth mobility.