Pregnancy and oral health. Should we go to the dentist during pregnancy?
If you are pregnant or if you intend to become a mother in the next future, we are sure that one of the questions that crosses your mind is whether is safe or not to visit your dentist during this period of time. The answer is certainly “yes”. Moreover, women have to take care of their teeth even more during pregnancy. This is because your oral health can be affected by the hormonal changes you will experience. Being pregnant has major effects on your body. So your mouth and teeth are no exception.
Pregnancy and oral health
Being pregnant increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease (also known as “ pregnancy gingivitis”)and oral growths (called “pregnancy tumors”). The health conditions are treatable, so make sure you do not miss your regular visits to your dentist. You should tell him at what stage of pregnancy you are, if you have received any special advice from your physician or if you have other medical condition.
Increased risk of tooth decay
Pregnant women use to develop cavities because some of them are eating more carbohydrates than usually. Morning sickness can increase the amount of acid in your mouth, which can eat your enamel. This will cause tooth decay.
Causes gums to be red, tender and sore. Your gums may also bleed a little when you brush or floss. Your dentist may recommend you more frequent cleanings to help control gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease.
Some of pregnant women experience overgrowths of tissue called “pregnancy tumors”. This happens especially during the second trimester and they may be related to excess plaque. They have red, raspberry-like appearance and usually disappear after you give birth, but you should discuss with your dentist about that issue.
These oral health problems can be avoided if you brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and do regular visits to your dentist.
Typically x-rays, dental anesthetics, painkillers and antibiotics (especially tetracycline) are not prescribed during the first trimester of pregnancy, unless it is absolutely necessary.
For x-rays your dentist will cover you with a leaded apron that minimizes exposure to the abdomen. Your throat will be also covered with a leaded collar to protect your thyroid from radiation. So you and your baby are both safe.
Anesthesia during the first trimester may be linked to early miscarriage. If you need dental work that requires anesthesia (filling, a root canal or a tooth pulled), your dentist will postpone this procedure for the second trimester of your pregnancy.
Beside these dental emergencies, you must set up an appointment for a cleaning in the first trimester. A visit to your dentist is also recommended in the second trimester for a cleaning, to monitor changes and to see your oral health. Depending on the patient, another appointment may be scheduled early in the third trimester. Plaque is a real enemy for our teeth, especially during pregnancy. So make sure you have your plaque removed.
To conclude this topic, pregnant women should pay attention at their oral health. Cleanings are really important. Non-emergency procedures generally can be performed throughout pregnancy, but the best time for dental work (except the cleanings) is the fourth to the sixth month. So future mums, keep in mind that seeing a dentist during pregnancy is a must. For additional information, call Dr. Arhiri. 610.647.7611 is the phone number you can reach Premier Smiles.