It’s important to take care of your overall health while pregnant, and dental care is no exception. Pregnancy can have an impact on your oral hygiene, which can, in turn, affect your developing baby.
Pregnancy hormones can cause your gums to become inflamed, swollen, or tender. You may notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss. This condition is called pregnancy gingivitis (gum inflammation) and left untreated, can lead to periodontitis (gum disease), which can cause tooth loss. In addition, gum disease has been linked to preterm births as well as babies with low birth weight.
Pregnant women can be more prone to developing cavities for a variety of reasons. If you have morning sickness, you may have more acid in your mouth, which can eat away at the protective enamel on your teeth. It can also increase your gag reflex, which may make you less likely to brush and floss as well as you normally do.
Is it important to tell your dentist you’re pregnant?
Let your dentist know if you’re pregnant or if you may be pregnant. Also, let him or her know about any prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you take. If your dentist needs to prescribe a medication for you, such as an antibiotic or pain medicine, he or she needs to know about a potential pregnancy and if needed, can consult with your family physician or OB/GYN.
Is it safe to get dental X-rays?
It’s safe to get an X-ray while pregnant. Your abdomen and throat will be covered with a leaded apron and collar to protect your baby and your thyroid from radiation.
What types of procedures are OK?
If you need to have a filling or other procedures that require local anesthetic, this can be performed safely during pregnancy. Any elective procedure, however, should wait until after pregnancy.
How can you better care for your teeth at home while you’re pregnant?
Take care of your teeth and gums at home by brushing and flossing regularly. If you’re experiencing morning sickness, your dentist may be able to recommend a toothpaste that tastes relatively bland. You should also rinse your mouth out frequently with water or a mouth rinse if your morning sickness causes vomiting.
Book an appointment today with Central Avenue Dental and let us help you maintain a healthy smile.