Will my teeth become more sensitive during my pregnancy?

We asked the expert how to keep your smile healthy during pregnancy.

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Q: I’ve heard that pregnant women can experience tooth sensitivity, and are at a higher risk for cavities. Why is this, and what can I do to protect my teeth?

A: Pregnancy can cause gastric reflux, which brings acid from the stomach into the mouth. Frequent reflux can cause the erosion of tooth surfaces, contributing to tooth sensitivity. Pregnancy-related alterations in your diet and in your oral hygiene habits could also increase the risk of cavities. After a reflux episode, it’s best to rinse with plain water — avoid tooth brushing for about an hour as the brush could damage any softened enamel. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing is essential to maintaining oral health.

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