Pregnancy Dental care
Pregnancy is a very crucial period in a woman’s life and maintaining good oral health would have a direct impact on the overall health of the mother and the baby. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increases the risk of developing gum diseases (Periodontitis/Gingivitis), which in turn can influence the health of a developing baby. Although pregnancy does not directly damages your teeth, but the increased hormones can affect your body’s response to plaque, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases in some women. Increase in cavities can also be the result of a rise in sugar intake as a result of craving. Morning sickness can also raise the amount of acids in your mouth, resulting in cavities as well as erosion of the outer covering of your tooth.
Bones and ligaments can loosen a little, causing slight teeth wiggling.
Sometimes pregnancy tumors appear on the gums, which are benign but bleed easily.
So in between trips to your gynecologist, don’t let visiting your dentist fall off your list! In fact it’s a great idea to make a dental appointment before getting pregnant. That way, any dental issue can be addressed in advance of your pregnancy.
Routine dental checkups can also be carried out during pregnancy, in which urgent work is dealt with, whereas elective procedures are postponed.
The dentist can take care of works like fillings, crowns, cleaning and also help you deal with any pregnancy related dental symptoms.
If dental work has to be done, the dentist would prefer the second trimester of pregnancy because after that it becomes very uncomfortable to lie on your back for long periods.
TIPS TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MOUTH DURING PREGNANCY
- Pregnancy can increase the amount of bacteria present in your mouth. Therefore, following a good oral hygiene practice is extremely important! Brush twice a day thoroughly with a good fluoride tooth paste and floss daily.
- Visit your dentist regularly for a professional checkup. Be sure to keep your dentist informed of any redness, swelling or bleeding that may appear in the mouth.
- Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and avoid sugar drinks and sugary snack. Every day eat at least 4 servings of calcium and vitamin D rich foods, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, egg, fish etc.
- If you are having morning sickness, avoid brushing immediately after vomiting as your teeth becomes covered with stomach acids that can erode the tooth enamel if brushed. You can simply rinse with water and can brush about an hour later with a mild flavor of tooth paste, that doesn’t further triggers vomiting. Fluoridated mouthwashes can also be useful.
- Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.
DENTAL X RAYS DURING PREGNANCY
Dental X-rays today are much safer than in the past. The dentist can be extra careful with a pregnant woman, by covering her abdomen and thyroid with lead aprons and collars.
However, most dentist will opt to avoid dental X-rays during pregnancy!
PREGNANCY AND ANAESTHESIA
You do not have to worry about the safety of the anaesthesia that your dentist might use for your dental work during pregnancy. Research has shown that they are safe for both you and your baby!
Be sure to inform your dentist if you are using any medicine.
For pain, NSAIDS are best avoided and pregnant women should try their best to restrict themselves to Panadol for pain relief. If antibiotics have to be used, Penicillin and Amoxicillin are safe choices. Tetracycline should be avoided because it can stain the tooth of the growing baby.