If you’re expecting, congratulations! Pregnancy is both fun and strenuous. The excitement of bringing a new life into the world pairs perfectly with busy planning.
During pregnancy, your body will experience an increase in hormone levels. Though many people don’t think about the effect hormones have on oral health, your hormones can cause bacterial and plaque buildup.
There is a definite relation between oral health in mothers and oral or systemic health for their children. Since the child relies on its mother for food and health, a link exists from a mother’s oral health to her child’s.
Gum disease is the most common oral health issue among pregnant women, and this is primarily due to the hormones associated with pregnancy. Pregnancy gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue that commonly occurs – or worsens if the patient already has some form of gingivitis prior to pregnancy – during the second trimester.
Often during the first trimester, our patients experience pregnancy gingivitis. This includes swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. Unfortunately, inflammation is also a common symptom of gum disease. If you have serious gum disease, your baby could be born prematurely or have a low birth weight.
The build-up of plaque also causes gingivitis in most of our patients. With increased hormones during pregnancy, your body becomes less effective when fighting off plaque. If you have gingivitis prior to pregnancy, we can help you get rid of any inflammation. Regular cleanings with Dr. Safarian will also prevent gum disease.
These symptoms are only a problem for some of our patients who are expecting. If your teeth are healthy and your gums don’t change, you don’t need to worry! Simply continue to schedule regular cleanings and brushing your teeth so you don’t encounter any problems.
While some women experience spontaneous resolution of pregnancy gingivitis, most cases result in a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis.
If left untreated, periodontitis may lead to tooth loss. It is, therefore, important to have your gums examined by a dentist as soon as possible after giving birth.
Pregnancy epulis, otherwise known as pregnancy tumor or pyogenic granuloma, pertains to the localized enlargement of the gum tissue.
It can also appear on the palate and tongue. And this caused by increased levels of progesterone, along with a plaque and other local irritants in the mouth.
Really it usually occurs during the second or third trimester, sometimes during the last month of pregnancy. But in the last, it appears red, swollen, and tends to bleed profusely even upon slight manipulation, though it is generally painless.
Some women who have pregnancy epulis choose to have the tumor excised for cosmetic purposes or when it interferes with function.
But even without treatment, the tumor usually disappears after childbirth. A professional cleaning may aid in the faster resolution of this condition.
Tooth Decay in Pregnant Women
Tooth decay is also quite common, especially since pregnant women tend to have cravings for sweet treats yet limited attention to their oral hygiene.
In addition, hormonal changes during pregnancy as well as vomiting due to morning sickness can also increase their risk for this dental problem.
Such risk can be lowered, again, by practicing good oral hygiene.
Tooth Sensitivity During Pregnancy
Frequent vomiting, in addition to tooth decay, may first and foremost lead to the erosion of the tooth enamel.
Enamel dissolution exposes the dentin underneath, resulting in tooth sensitivity.
This sensitivity is characterized by sharp pain and is triggered by cold, hot, sweet, and sour. Management is more medical than dental and involves the prescription of antacids, anti-emetics, or a combination of both.
In addition, your dentist will also recommend using soft-bristled toothbrushes and instruct you to avoid brushing your teeth right after vomiting to avoid further damage.
They might also ask you to use fluoride mouth rinse for further protection.
Pregnant women can also experience loosening of their teeth due to advanced gum disease.
It can also be due to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone directly affecting the supporting structures of the teeth.
Other Dental Complications During Pregnancy
Women who experience regular morning sickness have extra acid introduced to their teeth. Because of this, the probability of tooth decay is much higher. To help repair tooth enamel, women can rinse with water and baking soda before brushing.
When you are pregnant, you should always tell your dentist and the dental staff. If we know about your pregnancy, we can better understand your current health. Then, we can make adjustments to your treatment plan when necessary. For example, we can reduce anesthetic use and move x-rays until after birth.
How to Maintain Your Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, you should maintain good oral health at home and at our office. With these tips, you can maintain a beautiful and healthy smile throughout your pregnancy.
Screening and Prevention
First, be sure to schedule regular appointments with Dr. Safarian before and during pregnancy to prevent disease. If your last dental visit is more than six months ago, then it’s about time to pay your dentist a visit.
They should also undergo a comprehensive oral examination to assess the health of her teeth, gums, and other structures.
Your dentist and ob-gynecologist will communicate and develop an ongoing collaborative relationship with you after you have given birth.
Your ob-gynecologist will approve or recommend any safety measures that your dentist should execute upon providing your dental treatment.
Then, brush properly at least twice a day. Flossing also prevents decay by ensuring a deeper clean. Once a day, use mouth wash to further clean. When you visit us at Irresistible Smiles, we can recommend our favorites. Brushing or scraping your tongue helps to remove bacteria as well.
Oral Surgery Procedures
Your dentist will set and do all the dental procedures you need during the second trimester of pregnancy because it is when the development of your unborn baby’s internal organs is complete.
If you need any emergency dental treatment, San Diego, it may be performed at any trimester, although extra care will be provided during the third trimester due to the possibility of additional problems and complications.
To prevent this, your dentist will consider giving you short appointments and observe certain precautionary measures.
Supplementation with calcium and magnesium is important for expectant mothers. These minerals are crucial for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
Magnesium has the added benefit of promoting restful sleep and relieving headaches, cramps, and even bruxism or teeth grinding.
Finally, we recommend eating healthy and nutritious meals. Your overall health is very important during pregnancy, so it matters what you put in your body. To keep your teeth healthy, we recommend avoiding added sugars and acids.
Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, are also fine. Foods that must be avoided to maintain oral health (and also general health) are sweets, high-sugar fruit juices, and sodas. Drink plenty of water and/or milk in place of sugar-rich drinks.
You may obtain it from a community fluoridated water source, or you can buy bottled fluoridated water. Pregnant women only need 3.0mg of fluoride per day.
Poor oral surgery dentist health care and delaying the treatment that you might need could result in significant risk to you and your baby.
To prevent this, it is extremely important to take care of your oral health during and even after pregnancy.
Dental Treatment Considerations for Pregnant Women
During your pregnancy, we must follow certain protocols in regards to which dental procedures you can have done to keep you and your baby safe. Here are your treatment considerations for during your pregnancy.
Elective Dental Treatment
Elective emergency dental implant treatment pertains to procedures that are not urgently needed.
These include simple restorative procedures, professional cleaning (for maintenance), and most cosmetic dental procedures.
In pregnant women, these procedures may be postponed until after you have given birth, particularly if it involves the anesthetics and x-rays.
Emergency Dental Treatment
This includes symptomatic cases of extensive tooth decay which necessitates immediate restoration or extraction.
Tooth decay, in particular, must be considered an emergency because the infection can spread throughout the body and affect your unborn baby.
Timing of Dental Emergency Chula Vista Treatment
However, since this is not possible and emergency dental implant treatment is needed in most instances, the best time to do elective dental procedures is during the second trimester, because it is during the first and third trimesters when the unborn baby is most sensitive to chemicals and radiation.
Scaling and polishing for advanced cases of gum disease may be repeated up to the first half of the third trimester only.
As much as possible, your dentist will delay taking x-rays until after your first trimester. And to protect you and your baby from the radiation. He will ask you to wear a lead apron with a thyroid collar.
It’s safe to use lidocaine in small amounts throughout your pregnancy if you need to have dental work done. However, since it can cross the placenta, we use as little as possible, just enough to keep you comfortable. If we need to prescribe you antibiotics, those are also safe to take during pregnancy.
You might be wondering “Is sedation dentistry safe during pregnancy?” Yes! Patients can safetly use nitros oxide or oral sedation safely with dental procedures during their pregnancy. This means you can stay relaxed and know that you and your baby are safe.
Your Dentist in Southern California
Keep yourself and your baby healthy by maintaining good oral hygiene. Since your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, keep the bacteria and diseases out!
If you have any questions, visit us at Irresistible Smiles. Schedule an appointment in Chula Vista by calling (619) 656-6785. To easily get in touch with us, schedule an appointment online.