Pregnancy is a crucial stage. Oral health can significantly influence pregnancy. Read this article to know more.
Pregnancy is the period where a woman goes through a lot of roller-coaster rides. It is time she has to give additional importance to her health. When she is facing a lot of physiological changes, it might directly influence the oral health of an individual. Most of the dental treatments are restricted during pregnancy. Therefore, a routine dental check-up is necessary for the first trimester of pregnancy. Getting your oral health status checked up before planning your pregnancy is even better. There are many pieces of evidence to prove that young children get a lot of bacteria, causing dental caries from their mother. When the dental status has lots of possibilities inherited from the mother, it is necessary to take additional care for oral hygiene.
According to the CDC reports, nearly 60-75% of pregnant women are known to have gingivitis. They are also easily prone to dental caries. The reduced salivary flow will contribute to various dental problems. People who are having severe periodontal problems during pregnancy might have a possibility of systemic complications. Pregnant women tend to get pyogenic granuloma. The other name of pyogenic granuloma is pregnancy tumor. They form a lump on the surface of the gingiva. It is not cancerous, but it will look very red, and they tend to bleed very easily. Tooth erosion is another common problem experienced by pregnant women. This is due to the morning sickness they undergo during pregnancy. Excess vomiting can damage the most challenging surface of teeth, the enamel. However, this is seen only in the initial stage of pregnancy. Some women might experience too much irritation and sensitivity in the gingiva.
Go for a dental check-up and inform the dentist about your pregnancy plan. If you are planning to get pregnant, your dentist will try to treat untreated caries, and also they will guide you in improving the periodontal health of the individual. If you are in the early stages of pregnancy, the dentist will provide you with a few guidelines for maintaining oral health. The dentist will check for swelling or bleeding in the gums. The patient should provide a past dental history.
If you have any dental decay, the doctor will guide you to go for restorative procedures.
The other problems experienced by pregnant women are:
Ulceration that might be accompanied by pain.
Loosening of the tooth.
Pain in the gums.
The reddish appearance of the gums will be seen along with the recession.
There are specific tips to be followed to stay away from dental problems during the pregnancy period. They are:
Do not delay dental treatment, especially when you are having pain.
The hormonal changes which occur during the pregnancy can cause swelling of the gums and result in gingivitis. It can further proceed to periodontitis if the problem is not treated at an earlier stage.
Brush your teeth two times a day with fluoridated toothpaste. It is necessary to follow good brushing techniques. Change your toothbrush once every three months. Using a brush for a prolonged time cannot improve oral health. It is also advised not to share toothbrushes with others.
If you are vomiting a lot during your pregnancy, it is good to rinse your mouth with a little baking soda. This will help you prevent the acid from attacking the enamel of the teeth. You can also use alcohol-free mouthwashes to maintain good hygiene.
Exposure to X-rays should be restricted as it might affect the baby. Only a minimal amount of exposure to radiation is advisable. You should check with the doctor before getting exposed to dental X-rays.
If the patient is diagnosed to have pyogenic granuloma, the surgical removal of the granuloma is recommended. It can be done with laser treatment or any other conventional excision method. But, laser treatment is recommended for pregnant patients because pyogenic granulomas tend to bleed a lot. If the granuloma is not causing pain or discomfort, then it is recommended to leave the lesion as such.
Periodontal health is known to become poor in patients who smoke. The habit of smoking should be stopped abruptly for the concern of the baby.
If you have a feeling of nausea throughout the day, then try to eat frequent small meals.
Dairy supplementation is necessary for pregnant women. They should add foods that are rich in dairy content. It might include milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt. During pregnancy, the levels of calcium are known to decrease. It is advised to maintain the calcium levels within the normal limits.
Do not eat foods that are rich in sugar content. Avoid aerated drinks and beverages.
Stop smoking and alcohol consumption. Excessive consumption of alcohol can result in fetal alcohol syndrome. There is an increased risk of abortion in women who smoke.
When a woman is confirmed to be pregnant, certain medications are considered unsafe for consumption. It is possible to manage oral pain with the help of non-opioid medications. If opioids are prescribed, then only low dose medication is preferred.
The following medications should be avoided during pregnancy:
The medications that are to be avoided during the first and third trimester of pregnancy are:
The complications of poor oral health during pregnancy are:
Premature birth of the baby.
A baby that is very low in weight during birth.
Since pregnant women's oral health is essential, it is useful to always stay in touch with a dentist to clarify the doubts on dental health and practices. You can also get help from our online platform.
Last reviewed at:
10 Nov 2021 - 4 min read
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