Stop Teeth from Shifting During Pregnancy

Many women who have had babies have mentioned that their lower teeth have shifted. That raises the question; “Can pregnancy cause teeth to move?” But, what if there’s a solution to stop teeth from shifting during pregnancy? Keep reading to learn more.

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, the pushing 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.

pregnancy hormones may cause teeth shifting during pregnancy.

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.

fixed and removable retainers to stop teeth from shifting during pregnancy.

Management of Teeth Constantly Shifting

What we do know is that teeth shift over time. This is often a part of the ageing process of the gum and jaw bones and potentially something that occurs during pregnancy. Since we can’t accurately predict if and when teeth will become crooked, our best bet is to prevent it from happening in this first place. Teeth can be prevented from shifting by wearing a retainer, which can often be worn at bed-time. Alternatively, retainers can be bonded/glued to the teeth, also known as “fixed retainers” so you don’t have to worry about taking them in and out every day. Just note, that sometimes fixed retainers can’t be used for everyone due to the limitations of your bite. So it’s best to discuss with your dentist to determine the best option for you – removable or fixed retainers.

If you already have a removable retainer sitting at home, then it’s time to start wearing it again. It’s normal for a retainer to feel tight if you haven’t worn it for months/years. If it still fits, then you don’t need a new one, and the tightness will reduce after a few days of use.

Take-Home Message

  • Pregnancy HORMONES can affect the gums, teeth and jawbones
  • We can never predict when teeth shifting will occur, however, it’s a normal ageing process.
  • To prevent teeth from shifting during pregnancy, RETAINERS (fixed or removable) are a safe option.
  • 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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Stop Teeth from Shifting During Pregnancy
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