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Important Facts About Pregnancy and Your Dental Health

Proper dental care during pregnancy is not only considered safe but is also highly recommended by the dental professionals at Vestal Dental Associates. While most important oral health decisions can be made without consulting your obstetrician, some work may require our dentists and your obstetrician working together to address certain scenarios.  Medications, antibiotics, local anesthetics, and x-rays can all be safely utilized during your pregnancy. 

Some patients may put off going to the dentist during pregnancy which can cause oral health issues to sneak in such as tooth erosion or gum issues.

Gum Problems During Pregnancy

Studies have show that gum problems can become an issue during pregnancy due to hormone changes in the body.  Gingivitis can present itself during pregnancy which is a form of gum disease that causes bleeding and swelling of the gums.  Additional care taken during your pregnancy can help prevent gingivitis, which include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Cleaning between your teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner or dental floss.

In more extreme cases, gingivitis during pregnancy can lead to bigger issues such as periodontitis.   This disease attacks the tissues below the gumline that act to keep your teeth firmly in place.  Without proper periodontal treatment, periodontitis can become worse, resulting in lost teeth.  If you are experiencing tender or bleeding gums during your pregnancy, it is important to call your practice and set up an appointment as quickly as possible so your doctor can come up with a plan to address your gum issues before they worsen.

An additional gum issue that can arise due to the hormones involved in pregnancy are lumps along your gum line.  While generally harmless, these lumps can make it difficult to properly clean your teeth.  Most women will find these lumps will go away on their own after the birth of their child, but in extreme cases, your dentist may suggest removing them.

Tooth Erosion During Pregnancy

Studies have indicated more than 70% of women experience nausea during pregnancy.  A side effect of nausea and the resulting frequent vomiting is dental erosion caused by stomach acid.  When your teeth are constantly exposed to this acid, the enamel on your teeth will soften and wear down over time.  The best way to prevent enamel erosion is to avoid brushing your teeth directly after vomiting.  The dentists at Vestal Dental Associates recommend rinsing your mouth with a solution of 1 cup of water and a neutral base such as baking soda to effectively neutralize the stomach acid remaining in your mouth.

When to Schedule Your Dental Appointment During Pregnancy

While dental treatments are 100% safe during the entirety of your pregnancy, most women will opt to schedule their appointment during their second trimester.  A woman’s second trimester tends to be a little easier than the first, which will mean less anxiety and a more relaxing visit.  During the third trimester, the weight of the baby can make you uncomfortable in the dental chair and even lightheaded during your treatment.   Be sure to let your dental professional know if you’re feeling uncomfortable and they can work with you to switch positions or provide a pillow to make you more comfortable.  

Schedule Your Pregnancy Dental Visit Today!

Call our office or use our online dental appointment request tool to schedule your visit today.  By protecting your dental health during your pregnancy, you’re ensuring a worry-free experience after the birth of your child – allowing you to truly enjoy the amazing experience of the little new addition to your family.