The Surprising Way Your Teeth Change When You're Pregnant

Pregnancy causes a variety of changes to a woman's body, and this may include changes in her teeth. Yes, in addition to possible breast tenderness, nausea, cramping, foot swelling, fatigue, and mood swings, those who are expecting may also experience gum disease, cavities, and loose teeth, to name a few.

For starters, hormonal changes can affect how the body fights off bacteria, meaning the risk for developing periodontal infections is higher. Periodontal disease infects the tissues surrounding teeth, bringing about sore gums, painful chewing, and even tooth loss.

There also may be plaque buildup, which can lead to gingivitis, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 75 percent of pregnant women experience this inflammation of the gums. If this is not taken care of, gums can get infected, periodontitis can come about, and teeth can be lost.

As dentist Aharon HagaiĀ told Mouth Healthy, "[Pregnancy] is a crucial period of time in a woman's life, and maintaining oral health is directly related to good overall health."

Changes in a pregnant woman's teeth may cause birth complications

Besides variations in hormones, changes in behavior and acid levels can also lead to changes in a pregnant woman's teeth. As stated by the CDC, 1 in 4 women of childbearing age have untreated cavities. This may be caused by the acidity from hormonal changes and/or by a diet shift, such as an increased sugar intake, as suggested by Orlando Health.

While poor oral health can cause infections, diseases, pain, swelling, bleeding, cavities, and the loosening of teeth during pregnancy, it could bring about birth complications like a premature delivery or a low birth-weight baby, as well. Science Daily reported that bacteria could be passed from a mother to her unborn child through the blood and amniotic fluid, contributing to these risks.

Therefore, it is important to brush, floss, change out toothbrushes regularly, and follow dental recommendations, especially if one is expecting to welcome a little bundle of joy into the world soon!