PUBLISHED ON 27/04/21
Should I see a dentist while pregnant? Is it safe? Does my dental health affect my baby? These are some of the most common questions we receive from pregnant women.
There are many things to think about during pregnancy and visiting a dentist may not seem like a priority; but your overall health, which includes dental health, does influence the health of your baby. This is why it’s essential to maintain a good level of dental health while pregnant.
To help you along your journey, we’ve compilated a list of questions that we recommend you ask your dentist while pregnant:
Getting a check-up during pregnancy is not only safe, but important for your dental health and the health of your unborn child. All women need to consider their dentist as a vital part of the team of health professionals they consult during pregnancy.
If you suffer from morning sickness, you need to know that vomit is highly acidic and can cause irreversible damage to your teeth. Both nausea and vomiting can cause stomach acid to reflux into the mouth, damaging the teeth due to erosion of the enamel.
– It is tempting to brush your teeth straight after a bout of morning sickness, but it’s best to wait an hour or so. If you brush too soon you can strip away the enamel, which is the softened protective coating of your teeth, leaving them more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. While you’re waiting, try rinsing your mouth with water to remove the acids or chew sugar-free gum.
– A tooth cream can help by remineralising eroded enamel.
– If brushing is difficult due to morning sickness, try using a child-size brush and avoid “frothy” toothpaste.
– Avoid further acid exposure of the teeth by avoiding soft drinks, citrus fruit drinks and sports drinks.
The surge in female hormones during pregnancy is associated with an increase in gum disease and teeth problems. Many women find their gums bleed easily during brushing because their gums are more sensitive to plaque. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis. You should maintain regular check-ups and cleans. Generally, this condition will resolve itself after you have your baby.
Pregnancy gingivitis is first seen when the woman is about 12-weeks pregnant, and it may continue throughout the second and third trimesters.
Pregnant women are also at risk of developing a pregnancy epulis, or swelling on the gums. This is a benign growth caused by gum inflammation. They tend to not need any specific treatment, but if it interferes with eating, brushing, or flossing or is unsightly, your dentist may recommend removal. It often shrinks once the pregnancy is over.
If you need to have a dental procedure while pregnant, your dentist can use local anaesthetic safely to numb the pain. At Maidstone Dental, we are able to look after your dental issues safely and help you feel relaxed.
* Remember to always inform your dentist about your pregnancy so they can choose suitable anaesthetics.
When tooth decay reaches the nerve endings, it can be extremely painful. If you have a dental emergency, a root canal can be performed at any stage of pregnancy. However, the ideal time for dental surgery is during the second trimester.
When you maintain your oral hygiene and habits, you are less likely to develop any dental problems during pregnancy. Remember to maintain regular brushing and flossing, try to avoid acting on unhealthy cravings and keep up your regular dental check-ups.
Many women don’t realise that poor oral health can affect the baby by increasing the risk of a difficult pregnancy. Some studies have linked gum disease with pre-term labour and low birth weight, finding that the bacteria that causes inflammation can get into the bloodstream and reach the unborn child.
If you have any other questions or concerns about your dental health during pregnancy, or are ready to book in a check-up, you can make an appointment online or call us on 9317 5636.