John P. Goodman DDS

Tooth Sensitivity and Pain During Pregnancy

By Dr. John Goodman on December 17, 2012

Sensitivity During Pregnancy

Due to natural hormonal changes and increased blood flow during pregnancy, the entire body becomes more sensitive.  These hormonal changes also cause your natural bacteria fighting saliva to alter with bacteria making teeth vulnerable to plaque build up.  The excess amount of plaque can cause irritated, red, and swollen gums leading to periodontal gum disease or tooth decay.

During pregnancy, odd or late night night food cravings and constant snacking can take a harmful toll on teeth.  Excess sugars can disintegrate the protective layer of enamel leaving teeth susceptible to sensitivity or tooth decay.  During this time, the body is also naturally sensitive to temperatures.  Something too hot or cold may cause twinges or irritation in areas especially where the enamel is worn.

How To Maintain Oral Health During Pregnancy

There are several preventative measures expecting mothers can take to avoid periodontal disease and tooth decay.  During the nine or so months of pregnancy,  it is critical to have at least one routine dental check-up.  Seeing the dentist as soon there is any pain or areas of concern with teeth will assist in the prevention of recurrent tooth decay or periodontal gum disease.

For home care, it is important to maintain the recommended regular brushing and flossing at least two times a day during pregnancy.  Drinking plenty of water after meals will minimize build-up of plaque.  The more sensitive teeth feel, the gentler and softer the toothbrush and brushing techniques should be. Sensitive toothpaste that has fluoride in it can be used to help subside the sensitivity.  Fluoride helps to protect teeth by remineralizing and shielding from the bacteria that can lead to cavities

If you have any questions about your oral health care during pregnancy, please contact our friendly staff or call us at 816-842-8585

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