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Dr. Kovitch Discusses Teeth Shifting and Other Dental-Care Tips during Pregnancy

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Pregnancy

We hear it in our Atlanta based dental office all the time: “I just had a baby, and noticed my teeth have shifted….”

Ever wonder why all of a sudden you have a space between your teeth or now your teeth look crooked?  This is extremely common.  During pregnancy, lots of changes occur.  Not only does your body gain weight and move organs around to make room for the growing fetus, but your bone also changes and your body produces relaxin.  Relaxin does several things, including relaxing your pelvic muscles, making your feet grow and affecting tooth movement.

What Is Relaxin?

Relaxin is a hormone present in both males and females.  Its main action is to increase the turnover of fibrous connective tissues. Thus, this hormone might increase the amount and rate of tooth movement through its effect on the periodontal ligament (PDL).  It increases tooth mobility, thus teeth naturally move towards the path of least resistance.

If you ever visit pregnancy sites like the Bump or Baby Center and search the topic of shifting teeth, you will find this to be a very common issue.  Women can also have other dental issues like TMJ disorders or bleeding gums during pregnancy that should be well-maintained rather than ignored.  In fact, women with periodontal disease are more likely to have a baby before term.

Don’t Wait Until After Your Pregnancy

To address these issues, don’t slack on your regular cleanings.  Be sure to get your teeth cleaned at least twice during pregnancy and floss diligently to care for your gums.  And as far as the shifting teeth goes, don’t wait to fix it till you have all your kids.  Instead, prevent it by being custom-fitted for a retainer at your dentist’s office to wear every time you sleep during your pregnancies and while nursing.