It may not come as a surprise, but Texas is in the top 10 states for highest birthrate in the nation. If you are expecting or trying to get pregnant, your dental health may not be the first thing on your mind. In between your trips back and forth to the hospital, don’t forget to continue with your dental checkups. Dental checkups are perfectly safe during pregnancy and your dentist can help you with any pregnancy-related oral health issues you may be experiencing.
What Issues May Impact My Teeth?
Due to hormonal changes, inflammation of the gums or “pregnancy gingivitis” may occur causing swelling and tenderness. This issue needs to be treated by a dentist so it doesn’t progress into a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontal disease has been clinically proven to increase the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight. Frequent cleanings at our office may be able to help prevent those risks.
Women become more susceptible to cavities for a variety of reasons during pregnancy. An increase in carbs from your peanut butter-and-pickle sandwich cravings can have an impact; increased amounts of acid in your mouth from morning sickness, etc. invite more opportunities for cavities. Making sure you’re flossing and brushing is crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth.
Pregnancy tumors (pyogenic granuloma) are another issue that may arise during pregnancy. These “tumors” are not actually tumors – rather overgrowths of tissues that appear on the gums most commonly during the second trimester. They are not cancerous; just swelling that happens most often between teeth. These are generally related to excess plaque and usually disappear once you have your baby. If you are concerned about this, talk to one of our doctors about having them removed.
Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During My Pregnancy?
Be sure to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant, even if you think you just might be pregnant at the time of your appointment. Let them know what medications you’re taking and how far along you are when you are making your appointment. Dental work such as cavity fillings and crowns are recommended because they lower the risk of infection. When necessary, emergency dental services such as extractions or root canals can be performed, though elective or cosmetic treatments should be postponed until after birth.
Pregnancy does not automatically damage your teeth. Many women make it all the way through their pregnancy without experiencing any discomfort. For other women, pregnancy makes some conditions worse or can create new ones altogether.
If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call one of our Today Dental offices.