Many people believe that it is not safe to undergo oral health care while pregnant, but the truth of the matter is that it is just as important—if not more so—for expectant mothers to be receiving routine dental care. If pregnant women fail to go to the dentist to undergo preventative cleanings, they are at a higher risk of developing dental complications related to their pregnancy, potentially jeopardizing their health as well as their baby if these complications are left untreated. If you are currently expecting, keep reading to learn what you need to know about your oral health.
What Are Some Common Dental Issues During Pregnancy?
Due to the changes that you experience in the production of hormones, plaque production can increase, potentially increasing your risk of developing gingivitis, which is a common type of inflammation of the gums. If a dentist does not treat this condition, it may turn into gum disease, which can spread to various other parts of the body, putting both you and the baby at risk.
Morning sickness is common for expectant mothers, but it can expose the teeth to excess stomach acids, which can then erode the tooth's enamel and leave them vulnerable to decay. As the baby develops, he or she may start to use the mother's calcium to support his or her growth. This could leave the mother without an adequate amount of calcium to maintain strong teeth and protect against tooth decay.
Excess plaque can lead pregnant mothers to develop what is known as pregnancy tumors, which are small bumps that develop along the gum line. As a general rule, these bumps are not serious and will disappear on their own following the birth of the baby. However, if they begin to cause too much pain and discomfort, it is possible for them to be safely removed by a dental professional.
What At-Home Steps Can Pregnant Women Take to Protect Their Oral Health?
To ensure that plaque is controlled, expectant mothers need to maintain proper oral hygiene, which consists of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day—at minimum. If there is any morning sickness, pregnant women should rinse their mouths with water and then brush approximately 30 minutes later. Brushing any sooner than this may speedu p the erosive action from the acids.
Pregnant women should try to increase their intake of oral health-related nutrients like vitamin C and calcium. Also, it is recommended to avoid sugar and opt for healthier snacks.
Are There Dental Treatments That Should Be Put Off Until After Giving Birth?
While it is safe to undergo preventative cleanings, there are some dental treatments that should be put off until later. For instance, X-rays and general anesthesia pose risks to developing babies. Because of this, cosmetic dental treatments and any non-urgent dental problems should be delayed until the baby has been born.
If you have any questions, reach out to a general dentist in your area or visit a website like https://www.brooksidedentalgroup.com.