Expecting a baby or planning to have one soon? Congratulations! Now comes the important work of taking care of yourself over the upcoming months. And if you’re wondering about dental care during pregnancy, Uptown Dental has answers for you. Dental care is part of your overall health, and we want you and your baby to be as healthy as possible. Dental treatments are safe and effective at keeping you both healthy during and after your baby arrives.
Pregnancy Affects Your Teeth and Gums
If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy, you can put your baby at risk. Hormonal changes increase your risk for some oral health issues, such as gum disease and cavities. It is important to avoid these issues because the bacteria related to cavities and periodontal disease may be passed on to the baby. Your daily routine of brushing and flossing will help avoid major problems.
You may not realize that the gums respond to progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy, potentially causing unusual issues with your teeth and gums. For one, the tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place may lose its elasticity, causing your teeth to get loose. Another less common issue is pregnancy tumors that form between your teeth. Excess plaque can cause these noncancerous tumors. They usually go away once you give birth.
Pregnant women are also at greater risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, and this may make gums tender and prone to bleeding even with gentle brushing. More than 60 percent of pregnant women get gingivitis during their pregnancy. When left untreated, it can result in infection, which can spread bacteria through your bloodstream.
Tooth erosion is another possible side effect of pregnancy. If you have severe morning sickness, the vomiting can cause acid to harm your tooth enamel. Rinsing your mouth with water can help reduce the acid in your mouth.
Did you know?
Research has indicated that children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss are more likely to have cavities as a child.
Seeing Your Dentist During Pregnancy
You should plan to continue seeing your dentist when you are pregnant—especially if you are at high risk or having pregnancy-related oral health issues. Dental treatment is very safe for pregnant women. Today’s dental X-rays use extremely small amounts of radiation, plus, dentists protect you and your baby from the X-rays they take of your mouth with a lead-lined bib that covers your chest and abdomen. If a tooth needs to be removed or cavity needs filled, local anesthesia will numb only the area where treatment takes place. If you need medications, your dentist will be sure to choose meds that are safe for you and your baby.
Be sure to let your dentist and doctors know about any issues you are experiencing, from morning sickness to loose teeth. As always, inform them of the medications you take and if your pregnancy is considered high risk for any reason. Keep your dental appointments before and after you get pregnant to ensure your best oral health. Scheduling a visit and dental cleaning prior to getting pregnant can help identify problems ahead of time.
As mentioned, a routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day will help you stay on top of your oral health during pregnancy. Watch for inflammation and report major issues to your dentist. Eat well, adding a lot of vegetables and reducing sweet drinks and foods to your diet. Contact Uptown Dental in Marion to schedule your appointment before, during, or after your pregnancy.