Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in your life. However, pregnancy has a profound impact on oral health—and vice versa. Tooth pain during pregnancy is very common. Other tooth issues common in pregnancy include cavities and gingivitis. This article will discuss a rundown of pregnancy and oral health. For example, what to expect while pregnant, what to consider for the health of your baby, and what procedures you can and can’t get while pregnant.
What are the risks to myself
Don’t be alarmed if you get a cavity while pregnant. During pregnancy, the body changes its hormone levels. Some of these can make it easier for plaque to build up, leading to gingivitis and cavities. Aching teeth during pregnancy is usually attributed to one of those two causes. Moreover, if you already had swollen, painful gums, pregnancy often makes your condition worse.
One distressing, but usually benign side effect of pregnancy on teeth, is the presence of oral tumors. These typically grow during the pregnancy, but shrink when the baby is born. Fortunately, they typically don’t require treatment, unless they cause excessive discomfort, or make chewing and brushing difficult.
What are the risks for the baby
While cavities and gingivitis typically aren’t that bad for the mother, they can be difficult for a baby. Having moderate to severe gingivitis increases the risk of premature, low birthweight babies. With that in mind, it’s best for pregnant women to seek dental care at every stage of pregnancy.
Can I go to the dentist while pregnant
You may wonder if a dental visit is possible during your pregnancy. Yes, pregnancy dental care is not only possible, but highly encouraged. Getting dental work while pregnant will reduce the risk of gingivitis, and help you keep that risk low for your whole pregnancy. You should aim to get one cleaning per trimester of your pregnancy. If you discover gums bleeding during pregnancy, call your dentist. Even if you’re practicing good oral hygiene, your risk of dental problems is elevated.
Your dentist can perform many basic procedures. Cleanings are fine, and filling basic cavities can be handled as well. If you’re experiencing an emergency, your dentist will find some way to help you. You cannot live while needing a root canal until the baby is born, for example. In general, however, preventative measures like using fluoride during pregnancy are better than tackling issues that crop up.
What procedures should I avoid while pregnant
Unfortunately, there is no direct answer for all dental procedures. For example, getting dental X rays while pregnant is a gray area. If you’re struggling with a dental emergency, they may be unavoidable. On the other hand, your dentist will want to limit these as much as possible. If you scheduled any cosmetic procedures prior to your pregnancy, you will more than likely have to reschedule them. Anything that requires more than local anesthesia, and anything that requires medication, will be limited.
Pregnancy health is a holistic topic. Good oral health will help you have a healthy baby. Pregnancy itself can work against you, making you more prone to cavities and gingivitis. Together, alongside Dr. Peabody, we can map out a plan to limit cavities while pregnant and keep gingivitis at bay.