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Stacey Solomon has revealed that pregnancy had an impact on her teeth, causing some of her back teeth to fall out and the front ones to change colour.
The Loose Woman panellist opened up to her co-stars about the fact that her second pregnancy brought with it a whole host of dental problems, which eventually led to her being fitted with veneers.
On Wednesday 18 November, the Loose Women panel were discussing whether they would attempt DIY dentistry and Solomon said that she hated her teeth before she got veneers.
“It's my biggest fear, my teeth falling out, because it may come as a shock to you, but these are not real,” she said.
When asked by Janet Street-Porter about what was under her veneers, Solomon responded: “Nothing! When I got pregnant with [her second son] Leighton, the front ones went all black and yellow-y weird colour and I lost a lot of the back ones so I got plates over the top.
“Then they felt really bulbous-y and I was so sensitive to the point where I couldn't even breathe in without thinking, ‘Ugh! It really hurts!’,” she added.
The mum-of-three has previously discussed how her second pregnancy caused some dental issues, admitting that during the first trimester she saw her dentist more than her midwife.
“All of a sudden I was being drilled into left, right and centre,” she wrote in her column for The Sun. “My teeth turned a funny colour, I had to have some removed as they were so damaged and I was soon full of fillings.”
Solomon said things did get better around four months into her pregnancy, but she was left with “brown, decayed teeth”, which made her feel “really down” about her smile.
Can pregnancy impact your teeth and gums?
While Solomon’s experience of actually losing teeth is pretty rare, pregnancy can impact teeth and gums.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding, according to the NHS. This is called pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease.
About 50% of women will experience some mild gingivitis during pregnancy, according to dentist Richard Marques, of Doctor Richard Clinics London.
“During pregnancy, keeping your teeth and gums healthy probably isn’t high on your priority list, but the hormonal changes can wreak havoc on your oral health,” explains Dr Marques.
“Your progesterone hormone levels are high. This increase makes you more susceptible to developing the bacterial plaque that can attack your gums and you may develop gingivitis.”
Dr Marques says symptoms of gingivitis include: swollen gums, tender, puffy gums, bleeding gums, receding gums, red gums and bad breath.
“Pregnancy gingivitis most commonly develops between months two and eight,” he continues. “It may reach a peak during the third trimester.”
Watch: Fans are loving Stacey Solomon’s new look.
Pregnant women also face an increased risk of both tooth decay.
“Hormonal changes can soften the tissue and bones, and make you vulnerable to an increase in plaque on the teeth and gums,” explains Dr Daniel Cichi, from Doctor-4-U.
“Couple this with high cravings for sugary foods that can happen during pregnancy, and you’re at a high risk of periodontal disease and tooth loss if you’re not careful.
“Teeth can become weaker during pregnancy so require better brushing and flossing and a low sugar diet.”
How to look after your teeth while pregnant
Dr Marques has put together some tips and advice for looking after your oral health while expecting a baby:
Hold off using any products that contain peroxide as the oxidation process could be harmful to the developing baby.
If you experience gum disease, continue to brush and floss gently.
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, as pregnancy hormones can cause the gums to swell and become sore. Using a sensitive toothpaste will also help to relieve discomfort.
Take vitamin C and calcium supplements to help keep your teeth healthy and strong. The nutrients are really important for bone growth and development for both you and baby.
Be careful with cravings. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh greens and dairy products is best for dental health. Sugary foods can lead to tooth decay and other health problems.
Dry mouth can be common during pregnancy as hormone shifts can lead to a lack of saliva. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to keep your mouth moist.
You must avoid any X-Rays as radiation can pass through body tissue and potentially harm the baby. In a dental emergency, always advise your dentist that you are pregnant, as alternative treatment may be available.
If you experience morning sickness, try to avoid cleaning your teeth straight after vomiting, as stomach acids can soften tooth enamel. Rinse with water and wait at least half an hour before brushing.
Stick to a good dental health regime of brushing, rinsing with a non-alcoholic mouthwash and flossing twice a day to keep teeth and gums strong, and help prevent diseases entering the body through the mouth.
If you’re worried about the potential cost of extra dentist appointments adding up, it’s worth noting that NHS dental care is free during pregnancy and until one year after your due date, so speak to your doctor or midwife about getting a Maternity Exemption Certificate.
“Do get regular check-ups particularly if you’re experiencing sensitivity or pain,” Dr Cichi adds.
“Inform your dentist as soon as you know you’re pregnant and they will be able to assess how often you need cleaning based on the condition of your teeth and the risk of you experiencing dental problems caused by pregnancy.”