If you’re expecting then your dental health might be the last thing on your mind. However, when you’re pregnant, your teeth and gums can respond differently to normal and there may be some treatments you need to make sure you avoid until the baby is born. When it comes to pregnancy and dental health there are a few key things to bear in mind.
Changes during pregnancy
Your entire body will go through changes while you’re pregnant and your teeth and gums are no different. Around half of women will develop pregnancy gingivitis in months 6 – 8 of pregnancy. This means that your gums are more easily irritated than usual and may swell and bleed frequently, especially when you’re brushing or flossing. Most pregnancy gingivitis goes away of its own accord once the pregnancy is over.
It’s an old wives’ tale that you lose a tooth with each baby. However, teeth can be affected if not carefully looked after. Morning sickness, for example, means that your teeth are being regularly doused in the acid from your stomach, which can do a lot of damage. Plus, the hormones involved in pregnancy (progesterone and estrogen) can loosen ligaments and bones and make teeth feel shaky. It’s important to keep brushing and flossing, especially after vomiting, and speak to your dentist if you’re worried about tooth loss.
Your baby’s teeth start developing during the 3rd and 6th months of pregnancy so this is a great time to start upping your intake of vitamins and minerals that can help with this process. Vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous are all crucial to this stage of development.
Seeing the dentist
It’s perfect healthy for you to continue to see your dentist while pregnant – in fact, it’s essential. Dental X-rays are considered safe during pregnancy and steps can be taken to protect your bump during the process. Most experts agree that dental procedures, such as fillings and crowns, are fine during pregnancy. In fact, they may be essential if they are affecting the rest of your body or could cause an infection. Cosmetic dentistry is usually best reserved for once the baby has been born.
If you are pregnant and have questions about your oral health before the baby is born, contact your local Smile Pad dentist for advice and suggestions that are personal to you.