Dental Care During Pregnancy

When you’re expecting, there are a lot of things you’re busy taking care of. From eating a balanced diet to getting enough exercise (or at least trying to anyway,) you know how important it is to keep your body healthy for baby’s sake.

But did you know that the health of your mouth can have a huge impact on your pregnancy? Research shows that when a pregnant woman has active gum disease, it can statistically raise her risk of developing preeclampsia, going into labor prematurely, and giving birth to a baby with a low birth weight.

Not only that, but hormonal changes during pregnancy can alter the health of your mouth — specifically your gum tissues.

To keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy, here are some important tips.

Pay Attention to Your Gums.

You might start to notice your gums showing signs of swelling or redness. Some women even develop temporary “pregnancy tumors” which are hormone-induced growths on their gums that go away after they have their baby. But don’t assume it’s all hormonal. Any gum redness or inflammation should be treated as if its gingivitis, before there’s a chance of chronic gum disease developing.

Don’t Skip Your Dental Checkups.

Keeping your teeth clean is important, especially since we know bacteria can spread from your mouth to the placenta. Book your regular checkups every six months to have tartar buildup cleaned away. At this time your dentist will also screen for potential issues that need to be addressed. Other areas can be watched until after you have your baby.

Get Treatment if You Need It.

Delayed dental care can put you at risk for dental emergencies, including abscessed teeth, which could raise the chances of oral bacteria transferring themselves through your blood vessels to your baby. Or, you might find that a tooth suddenly breaks, posing a painful emergency when it’s not all that comfortable to sit back for dental work.

Most dentists and OBGYNs recommend getting necessary dental treatments completed somewhere during the second trimester. That’s because your baby is past its most crucial developmental stages (first trimester) but your belly isn’t quite so big yet (third trimester) that you’ll have a hard time laying back.

Take Precautions Getting X-rays. Today’s digital dental X-rays use 90% less radiation than their predecessors. That, combined with lead aprons, which block scatter radiation, make getting an essential X-ray completely safe to take, even if you’re pregnant. So if your dentist suspects an abscessed tooth or you need to determine the cause of your toothache, one or two X-rays is completely fine for you and your baby.

Talk with a Kois Dentist

Kois Center dentists look at your smile as just a small piece of your overall health. The state of your oral wellness in turn has an impact on your body, and when you’re pregnant, your baby too.

For more information on getting dental care during pregnancy or how to care for your baby’s teeth, locate a Kois dentist in your area today.