Pregnancy & my teeth
Fact or Myth?
Being pregnant is not just special it’s a miracle! Its time for bonding, preparation, adaption and gaining knowledge. Your body is going through a tremendous amount of change, and the hormones maintaining your pregnancy definitely have some effect on your mouth and gums.
My gums bleed when I brush my teeth
Pregnancy hormones do have an effect on all the ‘linings’ of your body, including the mouth gums and nose. You also have a greater volume of blood running through your body, and these factors contribute to the likelihood of you, having bleeding gums. What can I do about this? The one thing NOT to do, is stop brushing and flossing your teeth because you are scared of the bleeding gums. Brushing TOGETHER with flossing almost three times daily will reduce the overall plaque index (amount of bacteria causing gum disease). Take a multivitamin prescribed by your gynecologist that contains vitamin C. This vitamin strengthens the blood vessels, and may reduce this type of bleeding. The RDA-recommended daily allowance for pregnant woman of vitamin C is 50mg.
During my pregnancy all my teeth became brittle and broke, because the calcium was taken out of them.
It is not true that calcium is lost from your teeth during pregnancy. The calcium you and your baby need is provided by the intake of a necessary healthy diet during your pregnancy. If, however your dietary calcium intake is not enough, your body will take the calcium from the stores in your bones not your teeth.
What can I do about this?
Get enough in take of dairy products, which contain a good source of calcium. Take a multivitamin prescribed by your gynecologist containing calcium. Now that we have covered the biggest fact and myth in pregnancy, here are some good tips and information on your teeth and dental health: If you are planning on getting pregnant, have a good and thorough dental check-up BEFORE you fall pregnant. This absolutely has to include a set of preferably digital x-rays (these x-rays have the lowest dose of radiation). The x-rays show us, what the eye cannot detect from in-between and inside the teeth. If you have ill-fitting crowns, leaking fillings, old silver fillings or tooth decay REPLACE and/or REPAIR them as soon as you can. You can never be sure if that leaking or old filling would give you problems during your pregnancy. A good oral hygiene program at the dental practice is of great value. Have your teeth cleaned once every month by your oral hygienist or dental professional. This will greatly improve the overall health of your mouth during your pregnancy. If you are pregnant already, and suffer from toothache, you must see your dentist immediately. If an x-ray is indicated, make sure that the dentist uses digital x-rays, as the radiation dose is extremely low. The dental practitioner will also provide you with a lead apron. If you have a broken tooth without tooth decay, it can be fixed without having to give you an injection. This will be a temporary measurement only. If you have an aching tooth with infection, you have to get rid of the infection immediately. In this case it is indicated to have an injection rather than have the infection in your tooth posing a risk to you and/or your unborn baby.
Baby’s teeth: your babies teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth month of pregnancy, so it is important for you to eat a healthy balanced diet receiving sufficient amounts of nutrients. Savor every moment of your pregnancy, You and Your unborn baby are so special! Dr. Adé Meyer
By Dr. Adé Meyer