Timely and appropriate dental care can result in enhanced pregnancy outcomes besides improved comfort for the woman. It is essential to maintain good oral health while pregnant. This is because pregnancy produces hormonal changes that raise the likelihood of developing gum disease that could affect your baby's health. The increase in hormone levels throughout pregnancy causes gums to bleed, swell, and trap food, leading to gum irritation. Preventive dental work is essential while expectant to prevent oral infections such as gingivitis, which researchers have linked to pre-term birth. A considerable number of women ignore dental care during pregnancy. Consequently, many will make appointments with their gynecologist but fail to visit their dentist. However, expectant women should include dental care as part of their wellbeing for various reasons:
Hormonal changes arising from pregnancy could change the manner in which your gums respond to plaque, causing inflammation and irritation. Studies reveal that pregnancy could increase the bacterial amount in your mouth. Therefore, maintaining a good oral/dental regimen that comprises flossing and brushing is vital.
You should avoid tooth extractions during your first and third trimesters because the fetus at these stages is vulnerable to developmental malformation. However, research indicates that tooth extraction is safe for mother and child during the second trimester. On the other hand, you should avoid dental X-rays throughout your pregnancy.
You should visit your dentist for dental work such as crowns and fillings to decrease the likelihood of infection. Ideally, you should postpone unnecessary dental work until delivery. However, at times you may require emergency procedures such as root canal. You should postpone elective treatments for instance teeth whitening until you deliver your baby. It is also imperative to avoid exposing your developing baby to any risks.
Medications during pregnancy
Currently, studies offer conflicting data regarding the potential adverse effects on your developing baby from medications used throughout dental work. If dental work is necessary, your dentist should minimize the amount of anesthesia. The anesthesia will be effective provided you are comfortable. Dental work frequently needs antibiotics to treat or avoid infections. Your dentist may prescribe medications such as amoxicillin following the procedure.
Dental care tips when pregnant
- Inform your dentist of your pregnancy as a precautionary measure
- Inform your dentist of the medications and dosages you are currently taking
- Do not miss your dental appointment merely because you are expectant
- Consume a healthy and balanced diet