If you’ve found out you are expecting, consulting your dentist is probably the last thing on your mind. However, you should be concerned about your dental care while pregnant. Your teeth and gums can be affected by your pregnancy, and your oral health can have an effect on the health of your developing child.
So does pregnancy affect the dental hygiene of a woman? Is there is a direct correlation between pregnancy and dental hygiene?
Answer is yes! Dental care during pregnancy is extremely important fight from keeping up with daily oral hygiene, to monitoring changes in your mouth.
Although many women make it nine months with no dental discomfort, pregnancy can make some conditions worse – or create new ones. Regular checkups and good dental health habits can help keep you and your baby healthy.
If you are planning a baby, try to make a dental appointment before getting pregnant. That way, your teeth can be professionally cleaned, gum tissue can be carefully examined, and any oral health problems can be treated in advance of your pregnancy. It is more convenient to have elective procedures done before you conceive.
How does pregnancy affect the dental health of a woman?
The hormonal changes happening in your body during pregnancy increases the susceptibility towards gum problems. In fact there is an evidence of aggravation of pre-existing gum conditions during pregnancy. Most common problem faced is of bleeding gums during brushing and flossing. Many women also complain of redness, tenderness and swelling in the gums.
Pregnant women are also more prone to decay. As a result of morning sickness, there is more presence of acid in the mouth, which weakens the enamel making them vulnerable to decay.
Problems such as pregnancy epulis or pyogenic granuloma – a localised enlargement of the gum, which can bleed easily. This may require additional professional cleaning, and rarely excision.
Dental care while Pregnancy
1. Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and reduce oral health problem.
2. Switch to soft or ultra-soft toothbrush and brush twice daily.
3. Apart from your regular brushing and flossing routine twice a day, it is recommended to use fluoride mouth rinses.
4. In case of morning sickness, rinse thoroughly after vomiting as teeth are covered with stomach acid.
Visit a dentist
Your dentist can be the best person to discuss changes in oral health during pregnancy and what to look for.
When you visit your dentist…
a. First and foremost inform your dentist you are pregnant. Routine dental care can be done anytime during pregnancy. However elective treatment should always be done in 2nd trimester. Less essential can be postponed can be done after delivery.
X-ray are usually avoided during pregnancy
If at all needed has to taken with utmost care.
b. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
c. Tell your dentist about the medicines you are taking. Your dentist may have to alter your treatment plan based on your medication.
Research say that there is a direct correlation between periodontal (gum) disease and premature and low-birth weight infants.
If you are planning on getting pregnant, but you are also planning on having some elective dental procedures, see your dentist.
Don’t skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnant. Now more than any other time, regular periodontal (gum) exams are very important.
Until the next time