Is Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy Normal?

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Pregnant and Teeth or Gums Sensitive? Oral Hygiene Basics Will Help

Sensitive teeth is a symptom experienced by a lot of pregnant women. Let us find out if it is normal to have sensitive teeth during pregnancy.

Pregnancy is the most delightful period in a woman’s life. It is a thrilling, roller-coaster ride, filled with unexpected highs and lows. The condition of your health before you conceive will have a direct impact on you and your baby’s well-being once you are pregnant. Hormonal changes cause mood swings and bodily changes which can cause common health problems such as cramps, backache, dizziness and nausea, and heartburn, to name a few. It is also not uncommon to suffer from sensitive teeth during pregnancy. Women who previously never faced any dental issues may become susceptible to sensitive teeth and gums. This is not serious and you can reduce the discomfort by maintaining good oral hygiene.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy

Pregnancy sees a surge in the levels of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen, which increase the flow of blood to all parts of the body. Increased blood flow to the gums makes them softer and vulnerable to inflammation and swelling, which can cause a feeling of tenderness in the mouth and the teeth to become more sensitive and even hurt. This complication can further progress when plaque builds up, rendering gums soft and swollen. This can further lead to bleeding, which may result in the loss of the surrounding ligaments. The gum tissue, which covers the roots of the tooth, begins to recede, and that exposes the dentin, the inner layer of the teeth. This is followed by exposure of the tooth’s nerve center, because dentin is not covered by hard enamel unlike the remaining part of the tooth. When you eat anything that’s too hot or too cold, it directly affects the tooth, resulting in sharpened sensitivity and pain. If not treated in time, the condition can deteriorate further, resulting in periodontal gingivitis. Severe gum infection ruins the surrounding bones and fibers that hold the tooth in place, eventually resulting in tooth loss.

Periodontal disease, if left untreated, can become a major health concern. It puts the pregnant woman at an increased risk of premature delivery, miscarriage, and low-weight baby. This ailment can also cause tumors on the gums, which are termed as pyogenic granulomas. Speaking, swallowing, chewing, and eating are all hampered by the formation of these tumors, and you will have to visit a dentist for their removal.

Treatment for Sensitive Teeth

Keeping up a healthy dental regimen is vital, so you do not succumb to any tooth sensitivity problems in the first place. Visit your dentist when you find out you are pregnant, so he/she can consult you on the best practices to follow, especially if you have faced dental problems in the past. Here are some tips to prevent and treat sensitive teeth.

  • Brushing and flossing regularly is of utmost importance. Brush twice a day, even after meals, so food particles do not get a chance to get stuck and form plaque, one of the main causes of tooth and gum disease.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. As it is, in pregnancy, sensitivity in the gums and teeth is heightened, so it’s better to stick to a soft brush and brush gently.
  • Apply ice cubes to your gums if you feel a lot of pain in the mouth. The cooling effect of the ice will soothe the discomfort.
  • Avoid having sugary drinks and food. If at all you crave for something sweet, have it with your meal and ensure you rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards.
  • Make an appointment with your dentist immediately if you find any signs and symptoms of tooth or gum disease, like hurting or loose teeth, bleeding/swollen gums, soreness and lump in the mouth which makes eating painful, or persistent bad breath.
  • Include a lot of dairy products and a variety of healthy foods, which will boost your intake of calcium and vitamins B12, C, and D, crucial for healthy teeth and bones.
  • Switch to a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth. Use a fluoridated toothpaste, it helps to prevent tooth decay.
  • Talk to your dentist if you require any extensive dental treatment, such as root canal, teeth whitening, dental X-rays, or any cosmetic procedures. He can advise you on the best time to undergo any such treatment.

So do not worry a lot if you suffer from teeth sensitivity. Observe oral hygiene, “brush up” on your dental basics, and you will be on you way to a healthy pregnancy and blessed with a happy baby!

By Sailee Kale

From 8-6-2011

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