Dental care during pregnancy

 In cavities, pregnancy

Thinking about dental care during your pregnancy? You’re doing everything you can to stay healthy and prepare for baby, so don’t forget to take care of your teeth! It is the opinion of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, that your dental health is an important part of overall health during pregnancy and throughout your lifespan. We’re here to tell you that prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral conditions is normal and safe during a pregnancy.

It is important to tell your dentist how far along you are in your pregnancy and if you are a high-risk pregnancy. We also require a doctors note from your OB when you come in. Your doctor will communicate the medications, anesthetic, and procedures that they would prefer us to use. Always communicate the medications you are taking. If you’ve noticed any discomfort, bleeding, or lose teeth bring it up right away.

SmilesRForever wants you to be as comfortable as possible during your dental visits. You can receive dental care during any stage of pregnancy, but we do take into consideration the procedure’s duration as well as how far along you are in the pregnancy to find the best time for your dental procedure. We commonly schedule procedures for an expectant mother’s second trimester, but if your condition isn’t bothering you or the baby, we may postpone action until after the birth. Wisdom teeth extractions, implants, and cosmetic surgery can often wait until a later date.

If you require X-rays of your mouth, we will go ahead and schedule them to help with diagnosis. The American Dental Association’s guidelines state that it’s riskier to postpone dental treatment for a pregnant patient than to complete the treatment. That being said, we take necessary precautions to protect you and your baby during X-rays. We always keep in mind that untreated disease can transfer bacteria to the unborn child, so immediate treatment is crucial.

Some pregnant women notice changes in their teeth and gums while carrying the baby. There are a few things we are on the lookout for during the pregnancy. They include gingivitis, cavities and enamel erosion, tooth mobility, and pregnancy tumors.

Fifty percent of women experience pregnancy gingivitis. This is a condition where built-up plaque creates an inflammatory response and causes swelling of the gums. If the build-up is looking especially severe we may schedule you an extra cleaning to keep control of the situation.

Pregnant women have a higher chance of cavities due to changing hormones, increased acidity, and food cravings. This can go even farther toward the erosion of the tooth enamel when coupled with morning sickness, gastric reflux, or hyperemesis gravidarum, or a condition associated with severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. When faced with acidic conditions, it’s best to rinse with water and wait five minutes to brush your teeth. We don’t want you to brush that acid into your enamel causing damage.

Teeth can become loose during pregnancy. Things often return to normal following the birth, but if you’re experiencing an underlying condition, we can take a closer look.

The last concern is pregnancy tumors. These can appear on the gums between the teeth often during the second trimester. If we notice any bleeding, we may recommend removal.

During your pregnancy, keep up your normal brushing and flossing routine. Alongside your routine dental care, this will help minimize risk. We’re ready to help you and baby stay healthy, so give us a call at 618-939-4042 if you need to schedule your next appointment!