risk during pregnancy

Orange City and Deltona, FL

Did you know that pregnant women and new mothers are more vulnerable to oral health issues? This is widely accepted, but there are some misconceptions about why it occurs. The old wives’ tale of “gain a baby, lose a tooth” states new moms will lose at least one permanent tooth while pregnant, often citing that it occurs because a pregnancy decreases calcium levels in the mouth, as the calcium is needed in the womb for the baby. Guess what… neither of these statements is factually accurate. Although pregnant women have a higher risk of dental issues, these problems are 100 percent preventable. Read on to see how Terry Soule, DDS, can help expectant and new mothers maintain good dental health.

Morning sickness can be bad news for your tooth enamel

Enamel is the protective outer layer of your tooth structure. Healthy enamel protects your teeth against tooth decay, as well as injury. Frequent vomiting can jeopardize the integrity of your tooth enamel. Considering that many pregnant women deal with nausea and vomiting, especially first thing in the morning, the frequent exposure of the acids from vomiting to your teeth can wear down enamel.  

When possible, anyone should wait to brush their teeth about 20 or 30 minutes after vomiting. You may be tempted to brush immediately, but all this does is distribute the acids over more of your tooth surfaces. Before brushing, rinse with a solution of baking soda and water, which will neutralize any lingering acids in the mouth.

Pregnant women often experience dry mouth

You may not realize it, but saliva is a natural defense against oral health problems, such as cavities. The flow of saliva helps prevent the accumulation of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth from minute food particles. If your saliva production is hindered, it makes it easier for areas of tooth decay to develop in your mouth. Given that dry mouth is a rather common symptom of pregnancy, it’s yet another reason why expecting mothers can experience dental problems. If you’re pregnant, try to drink plenty of water. Not only is this the best way to stay hydrated, but it also will encourage the flow of saliva.

The risks of gum disease are heightened

There’s no old wives’ tale to support this statement; instead, it’s backed by science. Due to the hormone fluctuations that take place during pregnancy, the bacterial infection that causes gum disease is more likely to be present during pregnancy. If gum disease reaches its advanced stage, known as periodontitis, then permanent damage has been done to your teeth. Your best defense against gum disease is to be proactive. Keep brushing and flossing daily, and see your dentist for regular check-ups. Also, be on the lookout for the symptoms of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease: gums that are red, puffy, bleed easily, or tender to the touch.

Dental care for expectant and new mothers in Orange City

Regular dental visits are important to maintaining good oral health, but they become even more crucial during pregnancy. Poor oral health can lead to an increased risk of premature birth or low birth weight for the baby. We suggest scheduling a check-up at your earliest convenience after learning you’ve become pregnant. This way, your next routine appointment will be near the end of your second trimester, as it can be difficult to sit in a reclined position at the dentist’s office during the advanced third trimester of pregnancy. At Terry Soule, DDS, we understand the unique needs and challenges that pregnant women face in protecting their dental health. We also offer preventive care treatments and diagnostic tests to make it easier to treat problems before they become serious. To learn more about our services, call us at (386) 775-1552 to schedule a consultation.

Terry Soule, DDS, is proud to serve patients in the areas of DeBary, Deltona, and Orange City, FL.