Pregnancy is a stage in life when your body changes a lot. And these changes do not only stand out on your hips or tummy, but they can also affect your teeth and gums. Dental work while pregnant can sound scary, but keeping your mouth healthy while you are expecting your baby is essential to your overall health – that includes your baby as well.
If you are only starting to consider pregnancy, the best thing is to tackle your dental problems before you actually become pregnant. Once you are expecting a baby, getting a dental checkup and keeping your teeth and gums healthy is essential as there are some issues and side effects that you need to keep in mind:
What to Consider When You’re Pregnant
Dry mouth and Cravings: They both trigger cavities and tooth decay. While dry mouth multiplies your chances of dental cavities due to the lack of saliva caused by hormone changes, pregnancy cravings make you eat sugary snacks and foods, which most moms-to-be simply can’t resist. This also multiplies the possibilities of getting cavities and tooth decay. So make sure you drink a lot of water and keep hydrated at all times. Also, brush and floss twice daily, and if you notice any sign of infection or pain be sure to contact your dentist.
Morning sickness: This forces many women to experience morning brushing as a tough chore, increasing the possibilities of gum bleeding or swelling. It also helps bacteria to settle in your mouth due to poor cleaning. Women who suffer from vomits face an even more serious problem since the acids left in your mouth can harm your tooth enamel, possibly leading to tooth decay. So make sure that even if you suffer from these morning episodes you can still get proper brushing and cleaning. Use toothpaste you can tolerate or rinse smoothly with water and baking soda to make sure these acids or bacteria don’t stay in your mouth to cause you trouble.
Gum disease: many women have high chances of suffering from gum disease or gingivitis during pregnancy due to hormone shifts and increase in blood flow. Recent studies have shown evidence that gum disease is a risk factor for delivering premature or low birth weight babies. So keeping your mouth clean and getting a professional checkup will help your gums stay healthy. If you notice any sign of swelling or bleeding make sure to contact your dentist to get professional oral care asap.
So the Take Away Is . . .
The bottom line is that a healthy mouth means a healthy pregnancy. Practicing a good oral hygiene, eating healthy, drinking lots of water and scheduling regular office visits will help a lot. When you see your dentist, let him or her know everything about your pregnancy, including any medications or vitamins that you might be taking. Also, if there’s a special dental treatment to be done, it is best to do it in the second trimester (once the first three months have gone by, but you’re still not too close to due date.)
You might already be aware of the importance of keeping your mouth healthy. However, you might still be reluctant to get some dental work while pregnant due to the fear of anesthesia and x- rays. There’s nothing to worry about: Some dentists, like our office, look at oral health in a holistic way. This means that the goal is to enhance your overall health with the most natural practices and avoid any unnecessary treatment. You and your baby’s needs are the top priority.
If you want to learn more about the relation between oral health and pregnancy, feel free to email or call Rohrer Dental Wellness Center at