Dental Concerns and Pregnancy

When to Tell Your Dentist You Are Pregnant

Even if you only think you might be pregnant, let your dental office know. Tell them how far along you are when you make your appointment. Also let your dentist know about the medications you are taking or if you have received any special advice from your physician. If your pregnancy is high-risk or if you have certain medical conditions, your dentist and your physician may recommend that some treatments be postponed.

Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy

Yes, it's safe to get an X-ray during pregnancy. Although radiation from dental X-rays is extremely low, your dentist or hygienist will cover you with a leaded apron that minimizes exposure to the abdomen. Your dental office will also cover your throat with a leaded collar to protect your thyroid from radiation.

Dental Treatment During Pregnancy

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agrees that procedures like cavity fillings and crowns are safe and important to have during pregnancy to prevent potential infection. One thing you don’t have to worry about is the safety of the numbing medications your dentist may use during the procedure. They are, in fact, safe for both you and your baby.

It may be more uncomfortable to sit in a dental chair the later you are in pregnancy, so schedule dental work in your second trimester, if possible. Cosmetic procedures, like whitening, should wait until after baby arrives.

Medications

Be sure your dentist knows what, if any, prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs you are taking. This information will help your dentist determine what type of prescription, if any, to write for you. Your dentist can consult with your physician to choose medications—such as pain relievers or antibiotics—you may safely take during the pregnancy. Both your dentist and physician are concerned about you and your baby, so ask them any questions you have about medications they recommend.

How Pregnancy Will Affect Your Mouth?

Pregnancy Gingivitis

With pregnancy come changes in your body, emotions and mouth. As many as half of all women develop pregnancy gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that is most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. It usually goes away after childbirth. Hormones make your gums more easily irritated by plaque and can cause gums to be red, tender, sore and bleed. Brush twice a day for two minutes, clean between your teeth once a day, and talk to your general dentist in Evansville, IN about other steps you can take to keep your gums healthy.

Tooth Decay

Some women experience unusual food cravings (and food avoidance) while they are pregnant. A regular desire for sugary snacks may increase your risk of tooth decay. Try to snack on low-sugar foods instead.

If nothing but sweetness will satisfy your craving, try to sometimes choose healthier options such as fresh fruits. Rinse your mouth with water or an alcohol-free mouth rinse, or brush your teeth after having sugary snacks.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a part of pregnancy for many women. It also brings up concerns about oral health and pregnancy, as the acid from your stomach can be strong enough to contribute to tooth erosion. If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux later in your pregnancy, the gastric acid can have the same effect on your teeth. Although you may be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after a bout of morning sickness, the best thing you can do to protect your enamel is swish with baking soda and water afterward. Baking soda is basic, meaning it will help neutralize the acid from your stomach. Mix about a teaspoon of it into a cup of water, then use the mixture to rinse out your mouth before brushing.

Pregnancy Tumors

Some women also develop what are alarmingly called "pregnancy tumors" due to hormonal changes while pregnant. Don't let the name scare you; pregnancy tumors are not malignant. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the growths most often appear during the second trimester, and look like little raspberries that form between the teeth. Your dentist can remove them if they cause you discomfort, but in most cases, the tumors will vanish after your baby is born.

During pregnancy, you should brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day (morning and night) and floss once a day. You should also visit the dental office to have your Evansville, IN dentist or hygienist remove hardened deposits (tartar) not removed by routine cleaning. Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe, but are recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
A Woman's Touch Dentistry

You Might Also Enjoy...

Trauma to a Front Tooth

Traumatic dental injuries often occur as a result of an accident or sports injury. Find out what you can do to help save the tooth.

Dental Implants

One way to replace a missing tooth is with an implant. Learn more about this procedure that is gaining more popularity.

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?

If you avoid eating cold foods or drinking hot beverages because your teeth are sensitive, it may be time to get to the bottom of this painful condition. A diagnosis starts with your dentist.

Sports Drinks: Good or Bad?

It’s tempting to choose one over a soda because you think it’s better for you. But not so fast. These drinks can have as much or more sugar and acid than many sodas and juices. In fact, you might wind up with cavities or other tooth damage!

Acid Erosion

Your teeth's enamel may be tough, but your teeth still need your help to protect them from erosion.