There are many misconceptions and rumors associated with the impact of pregnancy on teeth. Most of us would have either heard or read that a mother’s teeth lose calcium and hence every pregnancy leads to the loss of 1 teeth. It can’t be any farther from the truth as pregnancy doesn’t cause any major loss or harm to a mother’s dental health. Sure, there will be some definite changes in her dental health due to pregnancy, but they will more likely than not be caused by the hormonal changes occurring in a mother’s body. The high influx of two major hormones – progesterone and testosterone during pregnancy tend to affect the gum tissues which makes them more susceptible to plaque buildup.
The impact of plaque buildup on a pregnant woman’s dental health
Pregnant women are highly susceptible to plaque buildup as it tends to cause gingivitis – characterized by swollen, tender and red gums. Since a pregnant woman’s hormones are the cause of an increased chance of developing gingivitis, proper dental care is extremely important. Most pregnant women are affected by gingivitis at some point in their pregnancy, as a result, it is also known as ‘pregnancy gingivitis’. Although easily treatable, Gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease – periodontitis, if left untreated.
Pregnant women are also at high risk of developing tumors in their gums which are also known as pregnancy tumors. Although these tumors are benign and don’t require any treatment as they tend to subside and eventually disappear after the baby’s birth, a dentist may decide to remove them if they cause too much discomfort or if they are interfering with normal functions like chewing, brushing etc.
Some tips on how to maintain dental health during pregnancy
Following basic dental care procedures will ensure that you have lesser chances of dental problems during your pregnancy. Pregnant women need to be especially careful about preventing the buildup of plaque which can lead to gingivitis. The dental health experts at Family Dental Care, a full-service dental clinic in Ottawa provide the following tips to ensure that your dental health doesn’t suffer during pregnancy.
- Brush at least twice a day and after each meal whenever possible with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss regularly to prevent plaque buildup
- In cases of morning sickness due to brushing, an anti-plaque or a fluoride mouthwash can be used for rinsing your mouth.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet high in vitamin C and B12 which keeps oral cavities healthy and strong.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and dental cleaning to prevent plaque build-up.
Dental procedures to avoid during pregnancy
Although most elective dental procedures are not recommended during the course of a pregnancy, pregnant mothers should make it a point to maintain periodic visits to the dentist for dental cleanings and regular assessment of oral health. Regular dental cleanings during pregnancy will help control the buildup of plaque which can lead to infections in gums. These infections should be avoided or treated as early as possible as they have been associated with premature births.
Ordinary dental procedures like cavity filling or crowns can be performed during pregnancy to avoid chances of infections, but it is recommended that such procedures be performed during the second trimester. As a rule of thumb, doctors recommend that all avoidable dental procedures should be postponed until after the birth to minimize the risks to the baby. Also, procedures which involve anesthesia or medication must be only performed after consulting with an obstetrician.
Family Dental Care offers comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages in Ottawa and surrounding area with a commitment to provide dental care of the highest standard to every patient. Call the Family Dental Care clinic today at 613-706-1730 or contact us to request an appointment.
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