Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pregnancy Teeth: How Your Smile Can Change During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy can change a lot physically and mentally. Your weight shifts, hormones rise, skin breaks out in weird spots, emotions are heightened—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With all of these changes happening at once, the smaller ones, like changes in your smile, aka pregnancy teeth, might go unnoticed. Beverly Hills, CA celebrity cosmetic dentist Kevin Sands, DDS says, “As hormones shift during the trimesters, there can be significant implications for a woman’s dental well-being, taking a toll on your teeth, lips and gums.”

7 Ways Pregnancy Teeth Can Affect Your Pregnancy

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A pregnancy epulis or pyogenic granuloma can develop

A pyogenic granuloma is a benign tumor that forms on the gums that can ooze, break and bleed, which tends to be more common among pregnant people. It “presents as red raised growths that appear on the gum, which can bleed easily when brushing.”

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Higher risk of cavities

According to Dr. Sands, hormonal changes can raise the acidity in the mouth. This can lead to a much more rapid spread of decay that could lead to cavities. Not to mention, cravings for sweets can also have an impact.

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Teeth are more prone to discoloration

The fluctuating acid levels in the mouth can also result in discoloration. “As acid stains the enamel, pregnant women will often see dark spots or yellow hues more often, certainly dimming a bright smile.”

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Your face can appear more full

It’s not just the inside of our mouth that changes and effects our smile. “There are changes to a woman’s face during pregnancy, and that includes the face filling out more and causing the cheekbones to disappear,” says Chicago, Illinois gynecologist and O Positiv Advisory Board member Jessica Shepherd, OB/GYN.

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Gum disease

Pregnant people are at a more significant risk of gingivitis and other gum diseases, says Dr. Sands. The gums tend to be more prone to sensitivity, bleeding and inflammation, particularly in the third trimester, he explains.

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Teeth can become looser

Dr. Sands says, “Changes in both oral connective tissue and bone can cause teeth to shift or loosen.” Loose teeth could also be a result of untreated gingivitis, he adds.

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Facial paralysis

“The most common cause of facial paralysis in pregnancy is Bell’s palsy. Someone who is pregnant is at a higher risk of developing Bell’s palsy than the non-pregnant population,” says Dr. Shepherd. Pressure on the facial nerve can cause facial paralysis, and that can physically impact the ability to smile, she explains.

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