We’re most familiar with the swollen feet or back pain that comes with pregnancy, but what most people don’t talk about are the dental aspects during this unique time in your life. And believe it or not, there’s a lot that comes with it.
One common case is when your teeth may be overly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. It may not sound familiar, but no worries, I’m here to tell you all you need to know about sensitive teeth during pregnancy.
Why Do I Have Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy?
I’ve heard lots of people say that the baby sucks its mother’s calcium from her teeth during pregnancy. And this, in turn, leads to any dental problems she experiences during those several months of pregnancy.
Well, I can tell you that that rumor is false. Your baby doesn’t affect your dental health, but some factors surrounding pregnancy may lead to tooth sensitivity. Below are some of the pregnancy factors that can lead to tooth sensitivity for you as an expectant mom. (1)
Pregnancy hormones, which are typically in average quantity in your body, skyrocket as soon as you get pregnant. These hormones are progesterone and estrogen, and they cause more blood to flow to your gums, which can make them more sensitive.
These hormonal changes can cause a minor and sometimes extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures while you are carrying your baby.
Increase in Blood Flow
Pregnancy causes a major increase in blood flow since your body is working to accommodate you and your baby.
The increase causes more T cells and immune responses to be sent to any irritant anywhere in your body. Bacteria and irritants are present in the mouth on a daily basis, and a surge in their flow can be bad news for expectant moms, trust me.
In the end, this will increase your teeth’s sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, and spicy foods. You can be susceptible to this tooth sensitivity regardless of whether or not you had a prior issue with your dental health before pregnancy.
Some women notice a major change in their oral health, from sensitivity to even cavities during pregnancy. A pregnant woman may develop gestational gum disease during the second to eighth week of pregnancy, and it may last even longer.
This gum disease is likely to be pregnancy gingivitis, which plays a role in your teeth sensitivity. And if you do not practice thorough and proper dental cleaning, the risk of developing periodontal gum disease increases.
How To Soothe Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy
On a normal day, there are a few medications you can take to curb tooth sensitivity. However, as a pregnant woman, some of these medications may interfere with your condition. So, it’s best you consult your doctor or apply any of the below dental care procedures to relieve sensitive teeth.
Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Regardless of your condition, you’ll want to use a toothbrush with soft bristles to brush your teeth 2-3 times daily. It ensures that you don’t feel pain while brushing, especially if you have a gum disease you’re treating. It is important that you build the consistency of brushing with a soft toothbrush even before and after your pregnancy.
Use a good toothpaste.
The type of toothpaste you use during pregnancy can affect the level of tooth sensitivity you experience. You can start with a toothpaste specifically made to combat tooth sensitivity and see how it goes.
Otherwise, you may also ask your dentist to recommend a fluoride or non-fluoride toothpaste to step up your dental cleanliness. Fluoride toothpaste is still safe to use during pregnancy; just don’t swallow it.
Just as you would with your toothbrush and quality toothpaste, you need to floss at least once daily throughout your gestation period and even after. I would advise you to build the habit of flossing before you even get pregnant, so it will be easier to remain consistent.
However, it may not be too late to start proper dental care. So, for the sake of your oral health and your baby’s health, you need to floss adequately as it will remove any debris or plaque buildup stuck between your teeth.
Avoid Consuming Certain Foods That Increase Sensitivity
I know that pregnancy comes with lots and lots of cravings. I’ve been there. We want to eat everything and anything. Okay, maybe not everything, but some particular foods. When it comes to curbing tooth sensitivity, you may want to avoid that hot cup of coffee or that chilled tub of butterscotch ice cream.
These foods are typically referred to as trigger foods and can vary from woman to woman. Try to monitor what foods cause your sensitive teeth and avoid them (as hard as that may seem).
How To Care For Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy
Remedying sensitive teeth during pregnancy does not end with treating the teeth the first time. You are going to have to keep up your dental care. As moms, we can get so caught up in the worry about our baby’s health that we start to drop some healthy habits for ourselves.
One of those habits is regularly caring for your teeth. One thing lots of moms don’t know is that your dental health can affect the health of your baby. Women with gum disease are more likely to experience cases of low birth weight, premature labor, and preeclampsia.
By now, I’m sure you must be wondering, “How do I go about the care already?” Well, without further ado, here are some tips on caring for your sensitive teeth during pregnancy.
- Limit the amount of hot or cold and sweet or spicy foods you consume.
- Build a consistent habit of brushing your teeth twice or three times daily and flossing at least once.
- Add daily saltwater rinses to your dental care routine.
- Remove alcohol-based mouthwashes from your dental care routine.
- Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after vomiting.
- Eat more healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Always stay hydrated to avoid dry mouth.
Which Product Will Help Sensitive Teeth When Pregnant?
When it comes down to using a product to relieve teeth sensitivity during pregnancy, you’ll have to be extra careful. Firstly, make sure to see your gynecologist or dentist to get clarification on what medications may be suitable for you and why.
However, here are some medications that may likely be administered to you for teeth sensitivity relief as an expectant mom.
This toothpaste was a real lifesaver during my pregnancy. It contains the maximum strength FDA-approved anti-sensitivity active ingredient, potassium nitrate. This ingredient goes deep into the tooth to desensitize the nerve.
It may just help relieve your pregnancy-induced teeth sensitivity and then give you some fresh minty breath as a bonus!
Since my dentist already recommended Colgate toothpaste, I was curious about their mouthwash. I found this beauty and it did a whole lot for me. It’s an alcohol-free based mouthwash that cleanses the sensitive mouth.
Most people won’t tell you, but you shouldn’t brush your teeth immediately after your bout of morning sickness. Instead, rinse with water or, better still, use Colgate antiseptic mouthwash. It’s much better for you and your baby.
Your tooth sensitivity while pregnant can be combated to a great extent with good oral hygiene. I’m sure you are clear on that by now. Well, the Biotene toothpaste works to eliminate dry mouth, which is a no-no for pregnant women.
It is also sugar and alcohol-free, which is great for your pregnancy. The fluoride component is a bonus as it battles cavities and strengthens your teeth. That’s a win-win situation if you ask me.
I’m sure you will agree that there’s no point in having an almighty toothpaste without a toothbrush. Well, it’s good that I have the perfect toothbrush recommendation for you. The Colgate toothbrush has 48% softer bristles than a regular soft toothbrush.
The raised cleaning tips make it easy for the toothbrush to get to hard-to-reach areas. Not to mention that it works hand in hand with your toothpaste to remove teeth stains and whiten your teeth. So, you don’t just relieve your sensitive teeth during pregnancy you get it to a sparkling smile.
It can get a bit scary when you start to get sensitive teeth during pregnancy which you never had before. Well, as long as you take measures to curb the sensitivity there’ll be no more problems. If the pain gets too much though I would advise you to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Also, if you’re a soon-to-be pregnant mom, make sure you pay close attention to your oral hygiene before, during, and after your gestation period.
Did you learn a thing or two concerning sensitive teeth during pregnancy? Any remedies that have worked for you? Let me know in the comments section.
- Smiles by Shields Dentistry. Female Hormones and Dental Health. https://www.smilesbyshields.com/female-hormones-and-dental-health/