Dental Care during Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time when you need to take of your health with utmost care and your schedule includes everything from hospital visits to shopping for maternity clothes and setting up the nursery. It is very essential to include your dental check-up too before conceiving or during pregnancy as your oral health may affect the health of your baby. Some women may have dental problems, such as gum disease and increased risk of tooth decay during pregnancy. The increased hormones can affect the mother’s body’s response to plaque.
Although, pregnancy does not damage your teeth directly, the demands of pregnancy can lead to dental issues in some women. However, this can be avoided by maintaining proper oral hygiene at home and seeking professional help from your dentist.
Dental disease and its effect on the developing baby
Gum disease in pregnant women is linked with premature birth with low birth weight.(less than 2300 grams) According to research, up to 19 out of every 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease. Premature babies are at a higher risk of various health conditions such as cerebral palsy and problems with eyesight and hearing. Appropriate dental treatment for the expectant mother may reduce the risk of premature birth.
Schedule a periodontal examination with our Senior Periodontist Dr Amruta Dash, every 3 months to prevent and treat periodontal problems at the earliest.
Dental health check-up during pregnancy
In order to avoid dental problems during pregnancy, have good oral hygiene regime.
- Brush your teeth twice daily.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss between your teeth.
- Have regular dental check-ups.
Make sure to have the elective dental procedures done before you conceive. The non-urgent dental procedures are often performed after the first trimester. Second trimester is usually the best time to get your dental treatments done.
Inform your dentist if you are pregnant
Do inform any of our specialists if you are pregnant and the medications you’re under during your pregnancy. Because then we may put off taking x-rays until after the birth of your baby. In some cases where x- rays are unavoidable, we take precautions to ensure your baby’s safety by giving you protective lead shields.
Causes of dental issues during pregnancy
The following can cause dental health problems during pregnancy:
- gum problems
- cravings for sugary foods
- Retching while brushing teeth.
The pregnancy-related hormones can make some women susceptible to gum problems including:
- Gingivitis, mostly occurring during the second trimester, involves gum inflammation, swelling of the gums and bleeding.
- Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease and eventually result in tooth loss.
- Pregnancy epulis or pyogenic granuloma is a localised enlargement of the gum, which can bleed easily. This may require additional professional cleaning, and rarely excision.
The gum problems that occur during pregnancy are not due to increased plaque. It is due to the increased response to plaque as a result of increased hormone levels.
Pregnancy-related gum diseases should be followed up after you have given birth. Make sure to get your gums checked by a Periodontist after pregnancy. Most types of gum problems caused by pregnancy hormones resolve after birth, however, a small number of women may have developed a deeper level of gum disease that will need treatment to resolve.
Vomiting can damage teeth
There is a ring of muscle that keeps food inside the stomach. Pregnancy hormones softens this ring causing gastric reflux (regurgitating food or drink) or the vomiting. Repeated reflux and vomiting can coat your teeth with strong stomach acids which can damage tooth enamel and increase the risk of decay.
- Do NOT brush immediately after vomiting. While the teeth are covered in stomach acids, the vigorous action of the toothbrush may scratch the tooth enamel.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain tap water followed with a fluoridated mouthwash.
- Instead of a fluoridated mouthwash, you may also put a dab of fluoridated toothpaste on your finger and smear it over your teeth. Rinse thoroughly with water.
- Brush your teeth at least an hour after vomiting.
Retching while brushing teeth
Some pregnant women find that brushing their teeth, particularly the molars, provokes retching. However, you risk tooth decay if you don’t brush regularly.
Try the following:
- Brush slowly and use a brush with a small head, such as a brush made for toddlers.
- Try other distractions, such as listening to music or concentrate on your breathing.
- Switch to another brand of the toothpaste, if the taste of current toothpaste seems to provoke your gag reflex. You may also brush your teeth with water and follow up with a fluoridated mouthwash. Slowly, get back to brushing with fluoridated toothpaste.
- A regular desire for sugary snacks may increase your risk of tooth decay. Try to snack on low-sugar foods and fresh fruits.Rinse your mouth with water or an alcohol-free mouth rinse, or brush your teeth after having sugary snacks. Milk, cheese, unsweetened yoghurt, calcium-fortified soymilk, fatty fish, such as salmon and eggs are a few things which should be present in your diet.
We at ivory smiles dental clinic, urge all the mom’s to be and young mothers to schedule your regular cleanings and periodontal examination every 3 to 6 months to prevent pregnancy related dental issues. We hope all the above information helped you. To schedule your dental appointments with our specialists call 9008647868 or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Keep spreading smiles.