How Pregnancy Effects Your Oral Health
Pregnancy will affect nearly every single aspect of your health. Taking care of your oral health so bacteria doesn’t enter the bloodstream and affect the health of you and the unborn child!
So, what are some special health concerns women may have?
Most women will notice changes during their gums during pregnancy. Gums may seem more sensitive and bleed more when you brush/floss. You may also develop “pregnancy gingivitis” even when they may not have gingivitis otherwise. Many women will also notice additional swelling and sensitivity to gums that accompany bleeding. This can start early as the second month of pregnancy. Your changes of gingivitis will be about 10x higher during pregnancy This change happens because of how the body reacts to the bacteria and the change in one’s immune system levels throughout pregnancy.
Women who are having severe morning sickness and vomiting frequently will run the risk of ending up with the possibility of tooth erosion from all of the stomach acids spilling up into their mouths. This primarily will erode enamel so keep baking soda and water combinations on hand to rinse out and keep the pH level in the mouth steady after vomiting.
Many pregnant women notice their mouths are constantly drying out. You can help by using sugarless gum or hard candies to keep your mouth moist to help increase salivation levels to keep your mouth from drying out. Avoid anything containing xylitol as it can cause there to be more harmful bacteria that will help cause more cavities.
While many people experience dry mouth, a few may experience stimulated saliva glands. This is usually an issue when in an earlier pregnancy. It may occur with nausea.
Myths Sometimes Espoused Are Not True:
Women lose a tooth for every child they have:
FALSE — People used to think that one child would use enough calcium from a mother that they would lose a tooth! That is false, but at the same time, you are more susceptible to poor oral health if you are not on top of your brushing and flossing routines so be sure to take care of your oral health even more during your pregnancy.
You Need to take special care of your oral health during pregnancy:
MIXED — You need to take care to ensure you are practicing good oral health during pregnancy to avoid gingivitis and periodontitis. You may have more problems with oral health when pregnant but eating a diet balanced in Vitamins A, C, & D as well as a good brushing/flossing routine would be adequate to keep you from having any problems with compromised oral health.
It’s not safe to visit the dentist while pregnant:
FALSE — You actually should continue to see the dentist while you are pregnant to ensure your oral health remains optimal. Try to get your dental care in the second trimester if possible, and avoid any treatments that involve anesthesia till after the child is born. After about 20 weeks avoid extra dental work when possible so visit your dentist beforehand for your routine cleaning.
I shouldn’t have emergency dental procedures done while pregnant:
FALSE — If the treatment helps relieve discomfort for you or the unborn child you should proceed with treatment. The dentist will consult with your other healthcare providers if they have any fears of providing dental care while you are pregnant before they proceed.
I can’t have X-Rays while I am pregnant:
MIXED — While x-rays are safer now than ever before fetuses are the most sensitive to radiation during their first trimester. Studies show that the led aprons can help avoid any problems with the fetus being exposed to radiation. After the first trimester, there are even fewer chances that the baby will be exposed to any harmful radiation. If you need x-rays during pregnancy you can get them safely especially after the first trimester, but be sure to use the lead apron and don’t get more done than are absolutely necessary.
I can’t have dental medication while pregnant:
TRUE – Ideally, you should not take any medications unless absolutely necessary while you are pregnant, especially during the first trimester. Especially avoid Category X drugs that are known to be harmful to the fetus.
I can’t have dental medications while nursing: FALSE — The American Pediatric Association (ACA) states that most medications will have no effect on the breast milk that is supplied to the child. To eliminate any minor risks, take your medications soon as your nurse your child each day. That helps eliminate any further problems that may occur.
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or call us 909-465-1016. The Ramona Dentistry Team
“Where Family Comes First”