Pregnancy causes hormonal changes and this is the reason why the risk of developing oral health problems such as gum disease and dental cavities increases. As a result, pregnant women should visit their dentist before, during pregnancy and also after the baby is born.Expecting moms should also have a good oral health in order to protect their gums and teeth, which became more sensitive during this period. By having a good oral hygiene and by visiting your dentist, you will keep safe both you and your baby.
There is a link between women who suffer from gum disease and premature births. It was discovered that these women are more likely to have a baby that is born too small or too early. Some other pregnant women may experience “pregnancy tumors”, caused by swollen gums. These tumors are generally benign and they disappear after your baby is born. In case they are causing discomfort, your dentist will recommend to remove them.
Some pregnant women may experience enamel erosion because of the morning sickness. Vomiting due to morning sickness produce additional acid that can erode their teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water in order to decrease the level of the acid in the mouth. Please be aware not to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after.
Regarding cavities, pregnant women are more likely to develop tooth decay because of their diet. They may eat more carbohydrates and sugar. It is important to eat a healthy diet (including dairy products, cheese, yogurt) and to avoid sugary snacks as much as possible. Your baby’s first teeth start to develop about three months into pregnancy. These healthy products are good for your baby’s developing teeth, gums and bones.
Do not forget to inform your dentist about the medications or prenatal vitamins you are taking or if you have received any special advice from your obstetrician.
Oral health problems may have the following symptoms: swollen or bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, pain when chewing, sensitive teeth.
In case you need a filling or a root canal during pregnancy (procedures that involve the use of anesthesia), do not be afraid. You dentist will use numbing medications that are safe both for you and for your baby. X-rays are also safe to be taken. Dental work is good to be done in the second trimester. Once you are in the third trimester it may be difficult to lie on your back for a long period of time.
Elective treatment, such as teeth whitening or other cosmetic procedures should be postponed until the child’s birth.
As a conclusion, preventive dental cleanings, exams during pregnancy are safe and highly recommended. Expecting moms should take care of their teeth during pregnancy, should visit their dentist for regular check-ups and also eat a healthy, balanced diet.
In case you need further information or you are one of the pregnant women that need dental work, do not hesitate to call Dr. Arhiri to make an appointment.