Pregnancy and your oral health
How can Pregnancy affect your oral health?
Pregnancy will affect almost every facet of a woman’s life. This includes her oral health. It is important to take care of your oral health during pregnancy. You should not treat your oral health as just another thing to worry about.
A lot of women notice changes in their gums when they are pregnant. Some of them notice that their gums are redder. Others will notice that their gums bleed when they brush. There are also women who experience severe swelling and bleeding during their pregnancy.
These changes are referred to as pregnancy gingivitis and their symptoms are similar to gingivitis in any other person. The causes of the gingivitis in pregnant women could differ though. One of the causes of gingivitis in pregnant women can be attributed to the increase in hormone levels. Levels of progesterone in your body are ten times higher than the normal levels. These increased levels of progesterone could enhance the growth of bacteria in your body. Your immune system can also work differently when you are pregnant. Your body may react to bacteria differently and this may cause your gingivitis.
You should practice good oral hygiene in order to minimize the occurrence of gingivitis when you are pregnant. You should brush twice a day and floss once a day. An antimicrobial mouth rinse can also help you control your gum infection. Dentists suggest that you avoid using rinses that have alcohol because there is still no proof whether these alcohol-based rinses can cause negative effects on your pregnancy.
You should allow your dentist to check the health of your gums when you are pregnant so that any gingivitis could be treated right away. Treating gingivitis can be done at any point of your pregnancy although it would be best to do it during your second trimester. Aggressive treatments like periodontal surgery can be postponed after the baby has been delivered.
How will pregnancy granuloma affect your dental treatment?
Pregnancy granuloma is a growth on your gums that usually occurs in about two to ten percent of pregnant women. Pregnancy granuloma is also known as a pregnancy tumour or a pyogenic granuloma. These aren’t real tumours and they aren’t cancerous either. They aren’t dangerous although they can cause a lot of distress.
Pregnancy granulomas usually develop in the second trimester of pregnancy. You will see red nodules in your upper gum line and in other areas of your mouth. These growths bleed easily and they can also form ulcers and crust over. These pregnancy granulomas are normally attached to the gums or the mucous membrane through a narrow stalk of tissue.
The exact causes of pregnancy granulomas are unknown although if you do not practice good oral hygiene then it could be triggered. Other co-factors that may contribute to pregnancy granulomas are trauma, viruses, hormones, and blood vessel malformations. Women with these growths typically have widespread gingivitis already.
The pregnancy granulomas are supposed to disappear after you give birth to your baby. If growth interferes with speaking, chewing, or eating, then you may need to have the pregnancy granulomas removed before delivering your baby. These pregnancy granulomas could grow back one out of two times.
Women who have severe morning sickness and who vomit a lot are at risk of eroding their teeth enamel on their front and their back teeth. If you vomit a lot then you should get in touch with your dentist and find out ways on how to prevent your tooth enamel from eroding.
Pregnant women usually complain about dry mouth or xerostomia. You can address your dry mouth by drinking a lot of water. You can also address this problem by sucking on sugarless candies that stimulate saliva secretion. This will keep your mouth moist.
On the other hand, some pregnant women think that they produce too much saliva. This is a condition that happens during the early stages of pregnancy. It goes away after the end of the first trimester. Overproduction of saliva may be associated with nausea.
Is it true that women lose a tooth for every child ?
This is not true and is considered a myth. Previous theories said that if the developing foetus is not getting enough calcium, it will absorb the calcium from the mother’s teeth. This theory is not correct. As long as your brush twice everyday and floss everyday, you will reduce your chances of cavities during your pregnancy.
What are some of the ways of taking care of your teeth when you are pregnant ?
You should follow a balanced diet when you are pregnant. This diet has to be filled with a lot of protein, calcium, vitamins C, A, and D. You should make sure that you brush your teeth twice daily and floss once a day. An antibacterial mouthwash will help you obliterate bacteria that add to gingivitis. Dentists will suggest that you use a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol because the alcohol may have a negative effect on your pregnancy.
Will it be safe to visit your dentist during your pregnancy ?
The second trimester is the most ideal time to get routine dental treatment. If you are going through any serious procedures that may involve reconstruction or surgery then you should avoid it until you deliver your baby. You should try to abstain from dental visits during the first trimester of your pregnancy and the second half of the third trimester. During the first trimester of pregnancy, the organ systems in the foetus are still developing which makes it very sensitive to environmental influences. During the last half of the third trimester, there will be risks for premature delivery since the uterus is sensitive to outside forces. At the end of your pregnancy, you may also find it hard to sit on the dental chair. Pregnant women should avoid lying on their backs for extended periods of time because this will put pressure on large blood vessels. This can cause changes in blood circulation.
Should you get emergency dental treatment even if you’re pregnant ?
If dental treatment is absolutely necessary to alleviate pain, prevent infection, decrease your stress levels, or decrease the stress levels of your foetus then go ahead. Your dentist must consult with your obstetrician or midwife before performing any dental procedures in order to make sure everything is done as safely as possible.
Should you get X-rays even when you’re pregnant?
X-rays are much safer now because of the advances in science and technology. A lead apron can protect you and your foetus from radiation however; dentists will not recommend dental x-rays during your pregnancy. Even if you think that you are pregnant, x-rays aren’t recommended as well. X-rays should only be taken if it is urgently needed in a diagnosis and if the dental treatment can not wait after the baby is delivered.
Will you be able to take dental medications even when you’re pregnant?
You should not take medications during your pregnancy especially during your first trimester although if the benefits of the medications outweigh the risks then you may have to take them anyway. Most of the dental medications can be taken during your pregnancy although you should stay away from some sedatives and antibiotics.
The United States Food and Drug Administration classify several prescription drugs based on their levels of risk to the foetus. There are five categories which are X, D, C, B, and A. These are arranged from the most harmful to the safest. If medication falls under category X then it is considered harmful to the foetus. You should always talk to your dentist about any medications that you are taking and their corresponding dosages.
Will you be able to take dental medications while you are nursing?
The amount of drug excreted into breast milk will be around one to two percent of the dose you took. It is very unlikely that this can affect your baby although you should still avoid taking medications until you have finished nursing your baby. Consider waiting for four hours or more before nursing your baby so that the drug that enters your breast milk will be minimized. Most drugs reach the maximum concentration of milk after about one to two hours after you take them so wait for this period to finish before nursing your baby. You may want to discuss medications with your dentist and doctors to avoid any mishaps.