How do I Stop My Teeth from Shifting during Pregnancy?

After recently interacting with women who have had babies, many mentioned that their lower teeth shifted. That raises the question; “Can pregnancy cause teeth to shift?” What if there’s a solution to keep teeth from shifting after having a child, and to keep that smile you can be confident about.

Changes in a Woman’s Body

During pregnancy, many hormones are elevated in a woman’s body. One of them, growth hormone, works to grow a baby. Theories suggest these hormones may cause the lower jaw to grow a little. As the lower front teeth normally fit behind the upper front teeth, this growth may push back on the lowers. Potentially, it may be enough to make them crooked. Additionally, studies have suggested that many of these hormone changes may temporarily loosen the ligament that holds the teeth to the jaws. This can make it easier for teeth to move or shift and become crooked.

Will teeth shift during pregnancy?

Simply put, we may never know what exactly happens to teeth during pregnancy. There has not been a direct link between pregnancy and crowded teeth. Due to obvious ethical limitations, research is not usually done on pregnant women. Therefore, there is limited evidence on this topic.

Management of Teeth Constantly Shifting

What we do know is that teeth shift over time; as part of the ageing process of the gum and jaw bones and potentially during pregnancy due to the changes that occur. Since we can’t accurately predict if and when teeth will become crooked, our best bet is to wear a retainer for as long as we want to prevent these natural tendencies from happening. Retainers can be bonded to the teeth, or worn as removable appliances. Having one bonded to the teeth or a removable one worn daily is a safe bet!

Take-Home Message

  • HORMONES can affect the gums, teeth and jawbones
  • We may never be able to KNOW if teeth will shift
  • Because tooth movement is unpredictable, RETAINERS are our best bet!
  • Speak to your dentist or orthodontist today to find the best treatment option for your specific teeth.

References

El-Ashiry, G. M., El-Kafrawy, A. H., Nasr, M. F., & Younis, N. (1970). Comparative study of the influence of pregnancy and oral contraceptives on the gingivae. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology30(4), 472-475

Laskin, D. M. (1971). 9 Evaluation of the Third Molar Problem. The Journal of the American Dental Association82(4), 824-828.

Raber‐Durlacher, J. E., Van Steenbergen, T. J. M., Van der Velden, U., De Graaff, J., & Abraham‐Inpijn, L. (1994). Experimental gingivitis during pregnancy and post‐partum: clinical, endocrinological, and microbiological aspects. Journal of clinical periodontology21(8), 549-558.

Rateitschak, K. H. (1967). Tooth mobility changes in pregnancy. Journal of periodontal research2(3), 199-206.

Richardson, M. E. (1994). The etiology of late lower arch crowding alternative to mesially directed forces: a review. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics105(6), 592-597.

West, K. S. (1997). The effects of aging on the craniofacial complex: Cephalometric changes and their relationship to late lower incisor crowding. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics111, 668-668.

Stephanie Colaiacovo

Hi, I'm Stephanie! I am passionate about education and smiling. I believe we were given teeth to show them off! I hope the Dental Pen can be a place for all to learn and get tips on maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. I achieved my DDS from New York University where I participated in research on white spot lesions focusing on the prevalence in patients and treatment modalities available. Currently, I am specializing in orthodontics at the University at Buffalo. Things that make me smile include cooking, crafting, traveling, and all things Disney.

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How do I Stop My Teeth from Shifting during Pregnancy?
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