Your pregnancy health is of utmost importance. But there are so many things to worry about when you’re pregnant. In fact, the list seems never-ending! Another one to add to it is your teeth and gums. In this post, we explore some of the teeth problems that can arise during pregnancy and some solutions to address them.

During pregnancy, your hormone levels rise dramatically which affects the way your body responds to plaque (germs on your teeth). This can lead to a number of teeth problems like:

1. Gum Issues (Gingivitis or Periodontal Disease)

    If you notice gum swelling or bleeding when you brush, you may have pregnancy-related gingivitis. Additionally, if you already had periodontal disease (chronic gum infection), this could worsen in pregnancy.

    2. Rapid Tooth Decay

      Being pregnant increases the amount of acidity in your mouth. This can leave you more vulnerable to tooth decay. It doesn’t help that you often experience sweet cravings and it’s oh so very hard not to indulge in those! But increased sugar intake places you at increased risk of tooth decay.

      3. Enamel Erosion

        You already have higher acidity levels in your mouth just by being pregnant. But if you’re unlucky enough to vomit with morning-or-all-day-sickness, your teeth will suffer too. When you vomit, strong stomach acids coat your teeth. This softens the tooth enamel, placing you at greater risk of damage and decay, leading to tooth pain.

        Tips for pregnancy teeth health

        What Can I Do?

        The best thing you can do is maintain a strict oral hygiene routine - the standard brushing twice a day plus flossing. This means both your teeth and gums. To be on the safe side, you can also follow up with an anti-bacterial mouthwash.

        Drink plenty of water and try to limit the sugary foods. If you can’t, make sure you brush your teeth afterwards or chew some sugar-free gum (it increases the saliva in your mouth which reduces plaque acid).

        The type of toothbrush you use can also make a huge difference. As your gums are more sensitive and prone to bleeding when pregnant, it’s best to use a softer toothbrush. Babiz have designed one specifically for pregnant mothers. Our maternity toothbrush set contains two brushes - one silicon and the other fine. Use the silicon toothbrush first to brush away surface bacteria and gently massage your gums. Follow up with the fine brush to deep clean and remove plaque. Both brushes have a small head which reduces the chances of retching while brushing, which is very common when pregnant.

        Tips for brushing – especially if it gives you the ‘vomits’

        Just the thought of brushing your teeth when you have morning sickness can make you dry-retch. But as maintaining your oral hygiene – especially when pregnant – is so important, there’s no getting around it. Here’s some tips to help you through:

        • Use a brush with a small head to reduce the chances of retching
        • Take your time when brushing. Do it in short, slow bursts
        • Play some music, a podcast or an audiobook to distract you
        • Switch up your brand of toothpaste if your current one makes you feel icky
        • If the vomits threaten, stop and take a few deep breaths. Resume when the feeling passes
        • If you feel especially bad in the morning, brush your teeth with water. Follow up with a fluoridated mouthwash chaser. If you do this, make sure your night-time brushing incorporates toothpaste

        If all this fails and you do vomit while brushing, make sure you rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to wash away the acids. Don’t try to brush straight away again as your teeth enamel will be softened by stomach acid. The action of brushing is more likely to cause tooth pain and damage at this time. If you can stomach it, just rub a little toothpaste on your teeth to neutralise those yucky acids. Wait at least an hour before you try brushing again.

        If you experience tooth pain or teeth problems during pregnancy, please contact your dentist. There are some procedures they cannot perform while you are pregnant but routine visits are fine. If in doubt, give them a call and they will allay any concerns you may have.