Pregnancy and dental hygiene: what are the links?

Pregnancy and the arrival of a child are important stages of a woman’s life. Your body changes, the organism adapts and hormones are disrupted. During this particular period, pregnant women receive lots of advice and recommendations to make the pregnancy and foetal development go as smoothly as possible.

The well-being of the pregnant woman is essential. But did you know that taking care of dental health is also important? Make time to visit your dental hygienist or dentist during this particular period so they can give you specific advice! When you go, tell your practitioner that you are pregnant.

Cravings during pregnancy: some dental hygiene rules to follow

The famous hormones we often hear about can lead to cravings for food that you would not normally try. This change in diet – particularly for sugary foods – can increase the risk of caries. Throughout the pregnancy, it is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene, particularly by regularly brushing your teeth to avoid the build-up of plaque. It is also recommended that you use an extra cleaning method for interdental areas, such as floss, toothpicks, interdental brushes or other techniques advised by your dental hygienist or dentist.

During pregnancy, we recommend two descaling sessions to ensure that your gums and teeth are in healthy. The hygienist removes all deposits on your teeth (plaque, tartar, discolouring). If the gums show signs of inflammation, the dental hygienist will give you advice on dental hygiene tailored to your personal situation – to keep your smile healthy.

Morning sickness: good practice to protect your teeth

Nausea may be a daily reality for pregnant women. This leads to a build-up of acid in your mouth, a fall in saliva pH levels and creates decalcification (white spots) on the surface of the enamel. To reduce the impact of acidity on your teeth, it is recommended that you rinse your mouth with water and use a mouthwash containing fluoride. Fluoride will remineralise the surface of the enamel and thereby strengthen it. We advise that you rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or mouthwash after being sick. The pH level will be neutralised and your enamel safeguarded from acid attacks.

Gum disease in pregnancy or gestational gingivitis: what is it?!

Gum disease in pregnancy, also called gestational gingivitis, is a result of hormonal disruption during pregnancy. The hormonal imbalance makes oral mucous more sensitive to the attacks by bacteria present in the mouth. Greater sensitivity of the gums, inflammation of gum tissue and irregular gum contours are symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis. Other visible symptoms such as redness, swollen gums and spontaneous bleeding should be a warning sign about the state of your gums. If you see these symptoms, you must make an appointment with your dental hygienist who will gently remove scaling from your teeth.

In some cases, periodontitis (a disease that destroys the gum and bone around your teeth) is a factor that increases the risk of premature birth. Many studies have actually shown that the presence of periodontal disease in pregnant women increases the risk that the child is born before the 37th week of pregnancy and/or with low birth weight. Toxins and bacteria that are present with periodontal disease are linked to premature birth.

In any event, we recommend that you have regular descaling and check-ups to maintain healthy gums and teeth, even before you are pregnant!

‘One tooth per pregnancy’: myth or reality?

Pregnant women wrongly accuse their baby of ‘taking calcium’ that leads to the loss of one tooth per pregnancy.  Pregnancy may previously have created deficiencies, particularly of calcium, but today we cannot point to malnutrition. The only impact is hormonal, with an increased risk of gingivitis that leads to sensitive gums, bleeding and swelling, in other words pain that impedes brushing. Snacking and sugary foods are also risk factors for teeth.

To avoid dental pain and problems during your pregnancy, keep up good eating habits, regular dental hygiene and visits to your dental hygienist or dentist. This will mean you keep your teeth and gums healthy!

Any questions? Painful gums? Contact you nearest dental clinic or make an appointment using our online form: