Hormones. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), pregnancy hormones can actually affect the way your body responds to bacteria, which can lead to periodontal infection and – you guessed it – sore teeth and gums.
Increased blood flow. Your body is working overtime to support both you and your little one, which results in increased blood flow in the body. This increased blood flow can create sensitive, swollen gums that are tender to the touch. Hot and cold foods can therefore trigger that sensitivity, even if you’ve never experienced it before.
Gum disease. Pregnant women are more susceptible to gum disease, which can also be a catalyst for preterm labor, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine. Of course, bleeding, sore and infected gums can definitely lead to a sore mouth and plenty of discomfort.
- Choose a soft-bristled brush. Sensitive teeth require a sensitive touch, suggests the March of Dimes. A soft-bristled brush, like the Colgate® SlimSoft™, cleans between and around teeth both thoroughly and gently to reduce soreness and bleeding gums into the future.
- Take note of the foods that trigger sensitivity. Have you experienced a toothache while drinking tea? Do you find that ice cream puts you in pain? It’s best to avoid these “trigger foods.” In most cases, according to the APA, sensitivity in the gums goes away after pregnancy, so any subsequent tenderness in your teeth should subside as well, allowing you to indulge in hot and cold foods again in the near future.
- Eat fewer sweets. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to cavities and soreness. If possible, reduce the amount of sweets you’re consuming. If you must indulge, have a treat and then follow up by brushing to remove this fresh debris from your mouth.
- See your dentist. Don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to avoid your regular checkup, which keeps your smile healthy even when you’re expecting. Just make sure to remind your dentist that you are pregnant, so proper precautions can be taken (like forgoing certain types of x-rays).
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