Dental Care During Pregnancy: What Are The Facts?

Pregnancy can be wonderful, but it can also be stressful on the body. The importance of dental care during pregnancy should not be underestimated

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May 31, 2019
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We all know how important dental hygiene is. Brushing our teeth and flossing forms part of our daily routine from childhood. So, when you’re expecting, is there a different set of rules you have to follow for dental care during pregnancy? After all, you’ll be experiencing a number of changes to your body for the next nine months at least. Many mums-to-be are unaware of the connection between oral health and pregnancy, although there are some direct correlations. Changing hormone levels can, in fact, increase the risk of oral health issues, such as gums disease and small round areas on the gums that are known as pregnancy tumours. With this in mind, it’s important to educate yourself on how best to maintain your oral hygiene while pregnant and telltale signs you should be looking out for to prevent the risk of diseases. So, let’s bust some myths and learn some crucial facts about dental care during pregnancy.

It’s Important to Tell Your Dentist

First thing’s first, it is important for you to let your dentist know that you are pregnant, no matter how far gone you are. Your risk of certain dental conditions is heightened even though your treatment options available may be limited. This is particularly a concern if your pregnancy is high-risk. Your doctor will inform you as early on as possible if they believe you’re a high-risk pregnancy patient. Regular visits to the dentist during pregnancy will help keep your mouth and your baby healthy. In order to target some common issues that expectant mothers may experience, your dentist may even wish to adjust the treatments or medications they give to you. This could be anything from postponing certain procedures until after you’ve given birth, or just swapping the normal mouthwash you’re using to one that’s more suitable for expectant mothers.

Should Pregnant Women Avoid Dental Work During Pregnancy?

Everyone needs to visit the dentist, pregnant or not pregnant. In fact, trips to the dentist during pregnancy are vital. Make sure you pay a visit to your dentist every few months for regular work and other treatments need. Missing out on dental care could affect your pregnancy, as well as your dental health – untreated gum disease has even been linked to pre-term and low-weight birth. One myth associated with pregnancy and oral health is that seeing your hygienist for teeth cleaning or having a dental X-ray can be harmful to your baby. However, not only is it ok to do both those things, it’s actually encouraged. The American Pregnancy Association have reported that the 2nd trimester is often the best time to undergo any minor dental work such as a filling or visiting the hygienist for cleaning. During your pregnancy, you should be taking care of your body, allowing yourself to get used to the changes in your body and your lifestyle, this includes taking care of your gums and teeth.Furthermore, some expectant mothers are reluctant to use anaesthesia. This is because some studies have found a link between anaesthesia in the 1st trimester and early miscarriage. Therefore, if you will be requiring anaesthesia for a treatment, this is another reason as to why your dentist may recommend postponing the procedure until the 2nd trimester.

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About Pregnancy Gingivitis

We’re all aware that without hormones, you wouldn’t be able to make a baby! However, with hormones comes mood swings, less bladder control, and sometimes extremely strange cravings. What you may not know is that hormones also play a part in making your gums swell when you’re pregnant. This can lead to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Consequently, if you do notice that your gums begin bleeding frequently, you need to be proactive about it. You may need to visit the dentist for more hygienist appointments until the baby is born. Don’t forget, you should also be keeping up the good work when you’re at home. Regular trips to the dentist don’t mean you need to stop your excellent oral hygiene care. One Cheshire dental care practice that you use a soft toothbrush to reduce the chances of irritating your teeth and gums. You should also use a low-fluoride toothpaste to prevent plaque, tartar build-up and gingivitis. Flossing is also an important part of the process when it comes to combating pregnancy gingivitis because swelling can make it easier for food to get stuck in hard to reach places.

Morning Sickness and Your Teeth

Unfortunately, many women experience morning sickness during their pregnancy. Whether this is in the first few weeks, or still in the final few months. Vomiting, in general, can be damaging to your teeth, as the acid from your stomach can be so strong that it contributes to tooth erosion and decay. So, imagine the impact that regular morning sickness could have on your teeth. If you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn in your pregnancy, the gastric acid could also have the same effect on your oral health. Fighting this is simple. Though it’s extremely tempting to brush your teeth straight after vomiting, you should wait. Instead, protect your enamel with a special solution of baking soda and water. The baking soda will help to neutralise the acid from your stomach when mixed into a cup of water. Then, brush your teeth for a fresh feeling.

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Pregnancy Tumours

As previously mentioned, pregnancy tumours are small raised lumps on the gums. Though the name sounds more than a little frightening, it’s not as scary as it may first seem, they’re not malignant. These growths will often appear in the 2nd-trimester stage of pregnancy, giving an appearance of little raspberries forming between the teeth. If you do start to see the beginning stages of what you believe to be pregnancy tumours, then book an appointment to see your dentist. There are a number of ways they can be treated, one of which is to remove them if they’re causing you extreme discomfort. However, in most cases, they’ll disappear once the baby is born anyway.

Conclusion

Taking care of your dental health while pregnant is an important way to stay healthy and happy.