What to Expect?
Oral hygiene may be the last thing that comes to mind when you learn that you’re pregnant, but just as pregnancy affects nearly every other aspect of your body, it also affects your mouth.
What problems are common during pregnancy?
Pregnancy gingivitis causes red, swollen, tender, receding and/or bleeding gums – good oral hygiene can prevent it, so keep up regular home care
Pregnancy granuloma – a red growth on the gums, bleeds easily, occurs in up to 10% of women, can be treated if needed.
Dental cavities – can be more common due to changes in your diet, you may need to eat more frequently or sip on something to keep the nausea away – this can contribute to decay.
Dry mouth – try frequent sips on plain water, ice, or sugar-free gum. Over-salivating – usually associated with nausea, can’t do too much about it.
Tooth erosion – if you have frequent vomiting or reflux this can be a problem. Contact your dentist to see about ways to protect your teeth from this acid.
Stained teeth – some supplements and teas cause tooth staining, don’t worry it usually comes off with your next cleaning.
Do I still need to go to the dentist while pregnant?
Yes, you need to keep up your regular recare visits. Usually we won’t take X-rays or do elective treatment, but it is very important to check for gum disease.
What if I have a toothache?
You should see a dentist right away. You can safely have treatment if needed. It is not good for you or your baby to try to ignore pain and possible infection.
When should my baby see the dentist?
It is great to think ahead! Your baby should have his or her first dental visit at age one or six months after the first tooth appears.
A special note about gum disease and pregnancy
Some recent studies have found a link between severe gum disease and preterm birth and low birth weight. Severe gum disease is not very common. If you are concerned about your gums you can have them evaluated by your dentist. It is not clear whether treatment during pregnancy can help reduce this risk. If treatment is needed, it can be done safely.
What Can You Do?
At your next dentist visit ask about your gum health. Be sure to keep up with brushing and flossing. You will have even less time to do your routine once your baby is born!