Remember the “old wives tale” about mothers losing most of their teeth because their babies absorb all the calcium? While time and research has long dispelled this myth, there is still some truth about mothers being more likely to lose their teeth. Pregnant women do need to take additional care of their gums and teeth during those precious nine months.

The Government of Canada reports that mothers have greater risk of losing teeth when they get pregnant. During pregnancy, women are more vulnerable to dental issues.

Why Mothers Can Be More Likely to Lose Teeth

Two instances when extra oral health care is warranted for pregnant women:

1.Morning sickness – Some mothers fail to rinse their mouths after experiencing morning sickness, acid reflux, or vomiting. Stomach acid can damage teeth and cause decay and (possibly) tooth loss.

2. Physical Changes – During pregnancy, a mother’s body and hormones change to accommodate a growing baby. Hormonal changes can cause “pregnancy gingivitis,” making a mother’s gums more sensitive, inflamed, and likely to bleed. Unchecked gingivitis (as explained by the Canadian Academy of Periodontology) may worsen to periodontal disease and cause permanent damage and loss of teeth.

Prevention

Poor oral health negatively affects quality of life. Mothers can keep teeth healthy and intact by regularly caring for them.

1. Regular Cleanings – To prevent tooth decay, always brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and take care with swollen gums. Gently brush along the gum line of your mouth to help alleviate bleeding gums. If morning sickness strikes, rinse your mouth with water to remove stomach acid from your teeth. Also, visit your dentist for regular, twice-yearly professional cleanings. A professional oral health care provider can detect any problems in your mouth and treat them before they worsen.

2. Regular Dental Checkups – Schedule dental checkups in the first trimester so teeth can be assessed for possible infection. Other dental services might be recommended for the second trimester. Regular checkups will monitor your health and address any problems with swollen gums or pain.

Why Mothers Can Be More Likely to Lose Teeth

At the Dental and Denture Office, we are committed to helping mothers improve their oral and dental health throughout pregnancy — and parenthood. To schedule an appointment, please call us at (905) 815-8208 and we prepare an individualized oral health care plan for your needs.