How pregnancy affects your dental health
1. What dental issues can be caused by pregnancy?
2. When should you call your dentist?
3. How do you keep your teeth healthy?
Did you know that pregnancy can affect your gums and your teeth? When you are pregnant, more blood flows through your body, your hormone levels rise and there is more acid in your mouth. See your dentist early in your pregnancy to ensure you’re in good dental health from the start!
1. WHAT DENTAL ISSUES CAN BE CAUSED BY PREGNANCY?
• Gingivitis: You hear about this in toothpaste commercials. Four out of every 10 pregnant women will have it. Gingivitis is when your gums get red, swollen or sore. When you are pregnant, you can have high levels of a hormone called progesterone that causes gingivitis. If it isn’t treated properly, gingivitis can become a more serious disease known as periodontitis.
• Loose teeth: Your high levels of hormones can affect the tissues and bones that keep your teeth in place.
• Pregnancy tumors: Don’t worry, it’s not cancer. They are bumps that form on swollen gums, usually between teeth. Pregnancy tumors tend to go away on their own.
• Tooth decay: This happens when acid breaks down the outer coating of your teeth. When you are pregnant you naturally have more acid in your mouth. If you vomit from morning sickness, your teeth have additional exposure to the stomach acid.
2. WHEN SHOULD YOU CALL YOUR DENTIST?
If you are experiencing:
• A toothache
• Red, swollen or sore gums
• Loose teeth
• Mouth sores
• Gums that bleed when brushed or sensitive to touch.
• Bad breath
3. HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR TEETH HEALTHY?
• Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and floss once a day.
• If you throw up from morning sickness and aren’t able to brush, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
• Get regular dental checkups.
• Eat healthy foods and limit sweets and sugary drinks.
If you need help covering the cost of dental services, contact Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County for advice at 561-623-2800.
American Dental Association
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Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County
A safety net of local services and support for pregnant women and families with infants, focusing on racial disparities in birth outcomes561-623-2800 Website
Healthy Beginnings Entry Agency — provides free child development and social-emotional/behavioral screenings to Palm Beach County children through age 5 to determine if they're eligible for services funded by Children's Services Council561-383-9800 Website Email
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BRIDGES of Palm Beach County
Ten neighborhood hubs help parents raise children healthy, safe and strong561-740-7017 Website
211 Palm Beach Treasure Coast
A helpline providing information, assessment, referral, telephone counseling, crisis intervention and suicide prevention, as well as online chats from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily2-1-1 Website Email