It is essential for women who are pregnant to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to ensure their pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible. Between monthly check-ups and getting things prepared for the little one’s arrival, many women often neglect their oral health and may believe going to the dentist for a general check up is not safe. Visiting your dentist throughout your nine-month pregnancy is safe and very beneficial for many women who may be experiencing any pregnancy-related dental conditions, such as tooth decay or pregnancy tumors.
How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Oral Health
There are many things pregnant women should know about their oral health. The following information will include general advice on a few common conditions that can develop during your pregnancy and how to minimize any potential risks.
During pregnancy, women begin to experience hormonal changes that can affect their entire body in many different ways. One area of the body many women do not realize can be affected is the mouth. Quite often, many women may experience inflammation, tenderness of the gums, or bleeding that can lead to gum disease or pregnancy gingivitis. If you develop these symptoms, make sure to brush your teeth and floss regularly. Scheduling monthly visits with your dentist for frequent cleanings can also help to prevent the recurrence of pregnancy-related gum issues.
Morning sickness is a common symptom that unfortunately cannot be prevented during pregnancy. While trying to consume a balanced diet without aggravating a sensitive stomach, many women often neglect to brush their teeth due to their heightened nausea. However, improper dental care can cause the residual acid left in your mouth to wear down your teeth. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after vomiting to prevent further enamel erosion.
According to The American Dental Association, poor oral health and habits that result in inflammation or infection in the mother’s body may lead to premature birth, babies with low birth weight, gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia. Be sure to visit your dentist for regular check-ups and practice proper at-home care to keep your teeth in optimal condition throughout your pregnancy.
Growths that usually develop along the gums during the second trimester of the gestation period are known as pregnancy tumors. While this overgrown tissue is temporary and non-cancerous, it can cause swelling and extensive bleeding in the mouth. Pregnancy tumors typically dissipate after you give birth, but you can choose to have your dentist remove them if they become bothersome.
Visiting Your Dentist During Pregnancy
Going to the dentist is a vital part of a woman’s pregnancy and can help prevent the oral complications mentioned above. If you plan on visiting your dentist during your pregnancy, it is important to inform him or her that you are pregnant and how far along you are. Your dentist and obstetrician can work together to determine which medications are safe for you to take throughout your entire pregnancy, as well as ensure that your physical and oral health are in excellent condition.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kohani, or if you would like to learn more about pregnancy and dentistry, please contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics by calling (858) 622-1007.