Are you pregnant and suffering from sore gums? Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? If you nodded along all concerned, you might want to read our post. You may be suffering from tooth decay during pregnancy. What causes it? How do you spot it? How do you treat it? Get the answers to all your questions here.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay typically occurs in pregnant women when acids in the mouth adversely affect a tooth’s enamel. Since you have more acid in the mouth during pregnancy, you are more likely to suffer from tooth decay. Also, when you suffer from morning sickness and vomit often, you tend to have an elevated acid level in your mouth.
Causes Of Tooth Decay During Pregnancy
Let’s look at why you suffer from tooth decay during pregnancy. Some of the major causes of tooth decay include:
1. Increased Acid In The Mouth:
The high acid levels in your mouth break down enamel and trigger tooth decay. Your gums are more prone to inflammation and infection during the pregnancy. Many pregnant women suffer from gum bleeding while brushing or flossing their teeth.
[ Read: Mouth Ulcers During Pregnancy ]
2. Dietary Changes:
Pregnant women frequently crave for sour and sweet foods. Consuming sour foods and sweet drinks substantially increase your chances of contracting tooth decay (1).
Symptoms Of Tooth Decay During Pregnancy
Now that you know what causes tooth decay during pregnancy let’s look at how to spot it. Many symptoms help you identify tooth decay in pregnancy. Here we list some of the main ones.
- Pain in a tooth or toothache
- Loose teeth
- A lump or growth in your mouth
- Sore and swollen gums
- Mouth sores
- Red-purple or red gums
- Gums that hurt you on contact
- Gums bleed when your brush the teeth
- Bad breath (2)
Treating Tooth Decay During Pregnancy
You can treat pregnancy tooth decay and get relief from its pain and discomfort. Here are some techniques that help cure tooth decay effectively.
1. Brush Your Teeth Regularly:
During pregnancy, brush your teeth after every meal for about five minutes. Also, floss daily. Flossing after every meal will prevent or alleviate the pain in your gums. If you often vomit, clean your teeth after vomiting to clear off extra stomach acids in your mouth (3).
[ Read: Causes Of Jaw Pain During Pregnancy ]
2. Be Gentle:
Brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled brush. If your gums are highly sensitive, use toothpaste available for sensitive gums. If you feel pain in gums after brushing, apply ice to minimize the pain.
3. No Sweet Foods:
Sweets, cakes, candy, soft drinks, and various other sweet items contribute to tooth decay. So cut down on sweet and sour foods. Also, avoid dried fruits that stick to the gaps between your teeth. Eat fresh fruits. Make healthy choices to minimize the discomfort resulting due to tooth decay.
4. Go For Regular Dental Checkups:
Go for a dental checkup in the initial stage of your pregnancy to ensure you maintain good dental health. Also, go for dental checkups periodically while pregnant to prevent the risk of some serious gum ailment.
[ Read: Are Dental Visits Safe During Pregnancy ]
5. Don’t Delay Dental Treatment Till Delivery:
Tooth decay can lead infections that may harm your unborn baby. If your dentist suggests a dental filling, go for it. Avoid putting it off till after your delivery. At the same time, do inform your dentist that you are pregnant.
Did you suffer from tooth decay while pregnant? What did you do to treat it? Please do share your valuable experience with other expecting mommies here. Leave a comment below.