by Joshua Allen, DMD, Owner & Dentist, Keep Smiling Family Dentistry
Dental care is an essential part of maintaining good health, but did you know that hormones can also affect oral health?
They play a crucial role in maintaining good dental health, and hormonal imbalances may lead to cavities, gum disease and other dental health problems.
Women tend to be more susceptible to oral health problems because of the unique hormonal changes they experience throughout their lives.
Pregnancy is a time when significant hormonal changes are happening in a woman’s body. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can make it easier for bacteria to grow in the mouth and result in “pregnancy gingivitis.” This condition causes inflammation and bleeding of the gums, making them inflamed, extremely tender and more likely to bleed.
The CDC estimates that 60% to 75% of pregnant women are affected by this form of gingivitis. Symptoms usually get worse in the second trimester and continue to progress until the delivery of the baby.
If left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, also known as gum disease. While gingivitis only affects the mother, periodontitis is incredibly damaging to both mother and baby and has been linked to preterm delivery and low birth weight.
But don’t worry! You can still have a healthy mouth while pregnant. Just remember to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. And if you’re feeling extra tired during your pregnancy, you can always take a nap in the dentist’s chair!