While your joy knows no bounds when you see your little one enter this beautiful world, the nine months may not go rosy for you. Pregnancy comes with its own set of problems, complications, and discomfort.
Oral problems are at a rise during pregnancy. A toothache, sensitivity, and gum problems are possible dental issues that you can be burdened with while you are expecting.
The main cause of sensitive teeth during pregnancy are carefree diet, poor oral hygiene, hormonal changes, increased blood circulation, etc.
This is because your diet goes for a toss with all the cravings, you have hormonal changes and poor oral hygiene. (1) Let us see some of the causes of sensitive teeth during pregnancy, and how you can relieve yourself from that.
What causes sensitive teeth during pregnancy?
The body is undergoing so many hormonal changes during pregnancy, that the imbalance of all the chemicals in the body causes invasion of bacteria into the oral cavity.
The changing hormones cause softening of the oral tissues, increasing bleeding and tenderness. These bacteria thrive under conditions of compromised oral hygiene, and you develop gingival and periodontal problems.
Poor oral hygiene
With the frequent bouts of morning sickness, it is likely that you may not get to brush thoroughly, and the frequency of brushing goes down. (2)
Flossing and rinsing are activities you may tend to neglect during your pregnancy as you have more significant problems to deal with. This causes plaque to accumulate in your gums.
When you are expecting, your sugar cravings increase considerably. At any time of the day, you will want sweets, candy or any other food. Increased sugar intake is not good for your teeth or your gums.
Increased blood circulation
The blood circulation to the gums increases during pregnancy, making them tender and sensitive.
Getting relief from the sensitivity
During the nine months that you are expecting, you can get help from your dentist, and use some home remedies to control sensitive gums.
Dental visits are safe during pregnancy. So don’t delay a dental visit until after your child is born. Keep your dentist informed about your pregnancy and which trimester you are in.
If your obstetrician has told you about any particular risks or specific precautions, report that to the dentist.
The dentist will check your gums, and if needed, give you a superficial cleaning of the gums. Remember that the ADA states that most dental procedures are safe during pregnancy.
However, if you feel uncomfortable or restless on the dental chair, you can choose not to get it done. Some expectant mothers also feel nauseous with too many dental instruments in the mouth.
Brushing is the key
During your pregnancy, brush as well as you brushed while you were not expecting. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and try your best to brush twice daily.
Rinse your mouth after you eat anything. Remember to keep your tongue cleaning because bacteria live on the tongue as well. Massage your gums gently if that gives you relief. If you keep the bacteria at bay, your sensitivity will reduce.
Identify the triggers
Every person has different triggers for sensitivity. Make a mental note of which food makes your teeth sensitive. For some people, it could be cold drinks, for some hot food can do the same.
Even sweets and acidic beverages can cause sensitivity. Try to avoid having these or reduce the intake. This will reduce the number of times that you get a sudden bout of sensitive teeth.
Watch what you eat
Though it is difficult to control cravings during pregnancy, try your best to eat fewer sweets. If you want to, eat it right after your meal instead of having it in between two meals.
In this way, the frequency of bacterial attacks reduces, which keeps the sensitivity and tooth decay in check.
Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. These are effective in fighting gum inflammation. Spinach, carrots, kale, and broccoli are some vegetables that you can indulge in.
Home Remedies to tackle Sensitivity
- Saltwater rinses – Rinsing with warm salt water is very useful to drive bacteria away. This will help clear the microbial population not only from your gums but even from your throat. Salt water rinsing also helps in subsiding swollen gums.
- Rinse your mouth with a combination of warm water and honey. Honey is known to help with pain, inflammation, and swelling since it has anti-bacterial properties.
- Applying ground turmeric, or turmeric paste on your teeth and gums can relieve you from the pain caused due to sensitivity. (3)
- Vanilla extract – A few drops of vanilla extract soaked in a cotton ball can alleviate sensitivity. It sounds unusual, but the product has antiseptic properties. Place it on your teeth and gums when you feel sensitive.
- Green Tea – Green tea is an anti-oxidant. To control sensitivity, place the tea in water and use it as a mouthwash. Remember not to add any sugar to the solution. It will reduce your inflammation and swelling.
Some extra care and discipline will take you a long way in maintaining your oral health while you are pregnant. Remember that dental care is as critical as your general care and don’t neglect it for nine months.
This will ensure you have fewer problems to deal with after your pregnancy, and your little one grows up in a healthy environment. Remember that severe periodontal disease in the mother can be a risk factor for the new-born. (4)