When you are expecting, the hormonal changes can affect more than just your mood. It’s time to brace yourself for some drastic changes for the next nine months. Expecting mothers prepare themselves for a lot of things but may tend to neglect their oral health sometimes. Changes in hormones can increase oral complications especially gum diseases and small circular areas on the gums which are called pregnancy tumors. The changes you go through during pregnancy not only affect you but they affect your child as well. It is extremely crucial to take care of your overall health including oral health which usually gets neglected. While you are planning the nursery décor and getting all the necessities for your child don’t forget to go for a routine check-up with your dentist.
Here are 5 dental problems which affect expecting mothers:
- Gum Disease – Swelling of gums and bleeding occur mostly during the second trimester. Tenderness, redness and bleeding of gums are very common during pregnancy because of hormonal changes. During this time the body responds aggressively to bacterial toxins found in dental plaque.
- Tooth Decay and Cavity – Pregnant women have cravings for sweet and sour foods, which increases the risk of tooth decay whereas the protective enamel of the teeth gets corroded by the acid exposure from the morning sickness.
- Pregnancy Tumors – Some women have an overgrowth of tissue called “pregnancy tumors” which occur during the second trimester. It is a swelling which usually happens between the teeth. This may be related to excess plaque. They look like raw raspberries and usually disappears after your baby is born. It is important to consult your dentist if it hurts and you are concerned about the effects it might have on your oral health.
- Enamel Erosion – Morning sickness is a major symptom of pregnancy which causes nausea and produces additional acid which can erode your teeth if it stays in your mouth for too long. It is important to rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash at regular intervals to keep acid levels under control.
- Wisdom Tooth Complication – The area near the wisdom teeth can pain or swell up due to the hormonal heaves or improper oral care during pregnancy. Partially erupted wisdom teeth and crowding at the back of the mouth can cause discomfort and increase the risk of tooth decay. General Dentistry offers the latest dental technology to ensure quick and exact identification which can affect your overall health.
If you suffer from a toothache, inflammation or other symptoms when you are pregnant it is important to get timely treatment as it could lead to a serious infection which threatens not only your health but also the health of your baby.
5 Things to Keep in Mind About Dental Care While You’re Pregnant
1. Pay Attention to Your Medication – It is extremely important for your dentist to know all your medication and if you take any over-the-counter drugs. It will help your dentist to regulate your prescription if need be. Your dentist can discuss with your physician to choose medication such as pain relievers, antibiotics which you can safely take during your pregnancy.
2. Dental X-Rays – Expecting mothers often have a doubt whether X-Rays are safe and yes, it is harmless to get an X-Ray during pregnancy. The radiation is extremely low, and your dentist or hygienist will cover you with a leaded apron that decreases the exposure to your abdomen. Your dental office staff will cover your throat with a leaded collar to protect your thyroid gland from radiation.
3. Local Anesthetic During Pregnancy: If you need fillings for your cavity or have to get your tooth pulled out if you are pregnant, you need not worry about the safety of the numbing medicines your dentist will use during the process. They are completely safe for you and the baby. Research shows there is no evidence which shows dental treatments with anesthetics is harmful during pregnancy.
4. Follow Good Oral Hygiene – Practicing proper oral hygiene at home and taking professional help from your dentist will keep your teeth healthy throughout your pregnancy.
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss everyday
- Rinse your mouth after every meal and snack
- Eat a healthy and well- balanced diet
5. Go for Routine Dental Checkup – Being pregnant does not mean that you skip your dental checkup. Regular periodontal exams are extremely important. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that puts you at an increased risk of gum disease and pregnancy gingivitis. Talk to your family dentist or periodontist as soon as possible if tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occur during your pregnancy.