Teeth and possible dental problems during pregnancy - alkmene

Teeth and possible dental problems during pregnancy

This article has been reviewed by:
Martina Schaale

Dental Hygiene Specialist

You are pregnant or planning a pregnancy? – We are very happy for you and of course wish you all the best. With this article we would like to inform you about how your body and especially your teeth can change already in early pregnancy and how you can prevent “problems”. Our goal is to reduce fears and insecurities so that you can concentrate purely on your upcoming/existing pregnancy.

Gum infections and bleeding gums during pregnancy

The most common problem, especially during early pregnancy, is infection of the gums. This is usually noticed during daily dental care. The gums may look red and swollen, and you may even notice bleeding gums while brushing your teeth. These can be the first signs of gum inflammation. I can give the all-clear here for the time being, this is completely normal.

Possible causes of bleeding gums and inflamed gums during pregnancy

Imagine the following: Your body is already working at full speed from the first day of pregnancy, hormones change and suddenly the body has to work for two. Up to 80% more blood plasma is produced, fluid that also has to be distributed somewhere. Not only your tissues around the belly will grow, but also the tissues in the oral cavity.

However, limited oral hygiene in the first stage of early pregnancy also plays an important role. Morning sickness and sensitivity to odors mean that it is not uncommon to carry out one’s own dental care “just in a hurry”. If more soft bacterial plaque accumulates on the surface of the teeth and gums, an inflammatory reaction develops. The result: gum inflammation with bleeding gums.

Possible problems - tooth decay and toothache during pregnancy

In addition to the possible occurrence of gingivitis, tooth decay and toothache are also possible in early pregnancy. A typical cliché that pregnant women often hear is the increased desire for sweet or sour foods. Through conversations with my pregnant patients, I know that this is not often just a cliché.

Caries bacteria need sugar to maintain their metabolism. Now, if you eat or drink more sugary foods during early pregnancy, your risk for tooth decay increases tremendously. Foods that contain a lot of acid attack your tooth enamel. The resulting demineralization (the tooth is deprived of important minerals) can cause sensitivity and toothache.
Pre-existing tooth decay can also give you a toothache during pregnancy. Once the bacteria have broken through the enamel, they spread to the tooth nerve.

Sooner or later, this can lead to toothache. Pain causes our body to release the stress hormone adrenaline. Among other things, adrenaline has a vasoconstrictive effect and disturbs blood flow. Permanently disturbed blood circulation can lead to problems during pregnancy in the long term.

What can you do about it and how can you prevent gingivitis, bleeding gums and toothache during pregnancy?

My absolute recommendation: Go regularly for professional teeth cleaning and dental check-ups. Your dentist and/or prophylaxis specialist can advise you perfectly.

The optimal time for this is between the 13th and 26th week of pregnancy. It is best to go for professional dental cleaning and check-ups at the beginning and end of your pregnancy. Many health insurance companies now contribute to the costs twice a year or even cover professional dental cleaning during pregnancy completely.

If you notice bleeding gums during your dental care, continue your oral hygiene program. Now it is even more important that the bacterial plaque is thoroughly removed.

What about when dental pain really occurs in early pregnancy?

Please consult your dentist. Pain treatment is of course possible and important at any time. Whether and how your tooth is treated is then up to your dentist. If the caries has already reached the tooth nerve, root canal treatment is often the only remaining treatment method. Whether root canal treatment is advisable during early pregnancy is a decision made by your dentist.
If anesthetic injections are needed, this is usually not a problem. With the most common anesthetics there are normally no side effects, in case of doubt consult your gynecologist.

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