Does being pregnant affect your teeth?

Does being pregnant affect your teeth?

What happens to your teeth when you’re pregnant? We know that pregnancy has an impact on the body overall, but what does it mean for teeth, specifically? Are there things that expectant mothers should look out for? We talked to some dentists to hear their views.

Most of us have heard the old wives’ tale that says: “lose a tooth for every child.” Fortunately, this is just not true. However, gum tissue can respond unfavorably to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. About 35% of pregnant women will experience what is termed pregnancy gingivitis. This is a localized inflammatory reaction caused in part by the hormonal swings encountered in pregnancy. The good news is that hygiene also plays a big part. I mean to say that meticulous brushing and flossing while pregnant will diminish the unfavorable response. Once the baby is born, the pregnancy gingivitis disappears and the gums return to their “before pregnant condition,” whatever that was.

Jerome L. Faist, DDS – Beachwood, OH

Basically, no; pregnancy does not affect the tooth. Increased hormones and less adequate home-care can lead to pregnancy gingivitis. But after a good cleaning, the tissues respond well and become healthy. If someone has excessive morning sickness it could etch some of the enamel making it thinner and weaker. A common old wives’ tale is that the baby takes calcium out of the teeth; this does not directly happen, but, if the patient is not keeping up with her check-ups and cleanings and she has increased acid in her mouth, it could cause problems.

Cynthia M. Sachs, DDS – Rockford, IL

From the responses we were provided, it seems that pregnancy itself will not cause harm to teeth, though it does make keeping up with your home care that much more important. You should always make sure you’re brushing, flossing and having regular check-ups with your dentist.

All changes to your health, be it medical conditions or the medicines you’re taking, should be reported to your dentist, and pregnancy is no exception. Be sure to let your dentist know about your pregnancy, especially if you may be having a dental procedure.