Pregnancy and the anticipation of introducing a child into the family is cause for joy for many women, but also stress concerning physical well-being of both mother and unborn child. Several of our patients are expecting mothers and have questions regarding their dental care during this time.
If you are planning on starting a family, make sure your dental treatment needs are taken care of. It is best to avoid x-rays or medications during the first trimester, and we advise delaying certain treatments or diagnostic x-rays until later in the pregnancy. With that said, many medications used for common procedures such as fillings, cleanings, and root canals are safe for you and your unborn child.
What common dental problems occur during pregnancy and how can they be prevented? We have the answers.
A very common dental problem in pregnant women is gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), affecting 50%-70% of all pregnant women. Also, pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can impact dental health. One particular hormonal shift, or increased levels of progesterone, can stimulate gingivitis-causing bacterial growth as well as make gum tissue more susceptible to plaque.
Hormonal changes can also cause pregnancy tumors, little red or purple bumps usually near the gum line. Don’t let the name scare you – they are benign and usually disappear once the baby is born.
Cavities are more frequently in pregnant women due to the acidity from nausea during the first trimester or the increased sugar consumption for those with sweet cravings.
There is hope for our expecting mothers! With good oral hygiene, many dental problems in pregnancy can be avoided. Regular dental cleanings, brushing twice a day, and flossing daily are proven practices that can prevent most dental issues. We encourage all of our pregnant patients to be especially diligent about their dental care during this time.