Understanding Dental Care and Pregnancy
Did you know that during pregnancy you are more susceptible to having issues with your teeth or gums? Due to the hormonal changes that come along with pregnancy, the risk of developing gum disease increases. Unfortunately, poor oral hygiene can put your baby at risk and even cause a higher risk for premature birth.
How Pregnancy Affects Dental Health
- Increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can increase the risk of some oral health issues.
- Eating habits can change throughout pregnancy which may mean that you begin to eat foods that you were not before getting pregnant. These new types of food can affect dental health.
- For some pregnant women, flossing can actually be a trigger for nausea which may result in brushing and flossing less than normal.
- The higher hormone levels in pregnancy can also loosen up the tissues and bones and make the teeth loosen up and even possibly result in losing a tooth.
- Being pregnant may make your teeth more susceptible to getting cavities.
- It is estimated that 60-75% of pregnant women have gingivitis which creates symptoms like redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums.
- If gingivitis is not treated during pregnancy it can lead to periodontal disease which can cause a serious infection in the gums and any bacteria can be passed along to your baby.
- The common pregnancy symptom, morning sickness, can cause tooth erosion due to all of the stomach acids that your teeth will come in contact with.
Dentist Visits While Pregnant
Both the American Dental Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree upon the fact that going to the dentist during pregnancy is safe. Some dentists may even recommend coming in for additional cleanings during this period of time. Be sure to tell them that you are pregnant and any of the medications that you are on when making your appointment. Both routine and emergent dental care can be done during pregnancy, however, it is suggested that any elective dental procedures are held off until after delivery.
It may be surprising to some, but x-rays can also be conducted at the dentist during pregnancy if necessary. Extra care will need to be taken to protect the baby by shielding your abdomen and thyroid.
Signs Of Dental Issues While Pregnant
- Bad breath
- Lumps in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Swollen or red gums
- Loose teeth
If you are pregnant and looking for dental services, or are wanting to request an appointment with Dr. Pollock at Rockwall Oral Surgery, please give us a call today at (469) 264-8921. You can also visit our contact page or reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.