July 22nd, 2019
Some conditions of pregnancy such as hormonal changes and morning sickness can have an effect on the woman's oral health and, subsequently, her dental care routine. While it's generally not necessary for women to drastically change their dental routine during pregnancy, there are a few precautions expectant mothers can take to help maintain optimal oral health for the full gestation period and beyond.
Have a Checkup Before Becoming Pregnant
It's a good idea for women who are planning to become pregnant to schedule a routine dental checkup beforehand. This allows the dentist to look for, diagnose, and treat any potential tooth or gum problems before the pregnancy. Having professionally cleaned teeth going into the pregnancy will also make it easier to maintain good oral health until the baby is born.
Keep the Dentist Informed
Routine dental care and even emergency procedures are generally perfectly safe during pregnancy, but it's important to notify the dentist of the pregnancy as early as possible. He or she will want to keep track of any medications or vitamins being taken and consider if the patient needs alterations to her dental care routine. The dentist will also take extra precautions to protect pregnant patients if X-rays need to be taken.
Watch for Changes in Periodontal Health
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can put women at an increased risk for periodontal disease, which are diseases that affect the gums and soft tissues of the mouth. A condition called pregnancy gingivitis, which causes gum tenderness and easy bleeding, is also possible. Pregnant women should monitor their gums and alert their dentist of any bleeding, tenderness, swelling, and other unusual symptoms. We recommend scheduling an extra dental cleaning during pregnancy to promote optimal health.
Dental Health and Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a common experience during pregnancy, and the vomiting it may cause can wear away at the enamel in addition to making it difficult for pregnant women to brush their teeth comfortably. Pregnant women suffering from nausea may want to try a bland or unflavored toothpaste; the dentist or oral hygienist may be able to recommend brands. It may also be helpful to rinse regularly with water or a light, fluoride-free mouthwash.
Eat Right for Oral and Baby Health
Cravings for sugary foods are common during pregnancy, but indulging too much increases the risk of tooth decay. Expecting mothers should try to eat a healthy, balanced diet, both for their own oral health and for that of the baby. Foods rich in calcium are especially important to support a growing baby's teeth and bones.
The team at Kozica Dental offers a full range of dental services to help ensure optimal oral health throughout pregnancy and beyond. Request an appointment online or call us at (508) 755-0751 today.