As you know, your body undergoes some amazing changes during pregnancy to support the growing child inside you. Many parts of your body are affected, including your teeth and gums. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist at least once during your pregnancy. At Evanson DDS, we can address any oral health concerns you have and take care of necessary dental procedures before your baby arrives.
Common Ways Pregnancy Affects Your Teeth
Many women make it through their entire pregnancy with no dental changes, but altered hormone levels and increased blood flow mean pregnancy affects your teeth and gums in some surprising ways, causing some existing conditions to worsen and new problems appear. Here are the most common tooth problems expecting mothers experience:
- Pregnancy gingivitis: This is a condition characterized by swelling and tenderness of the gums. You may have gingivitis if your gums bleed every time you brush or floss. Hormone changes can cause temporary gingivitis to develop during pregnancy. You may need more frequent teeth cleanings to prevent permanent damage to your gums.
- Increased tooth decay: You are more prone to cavities during pregnancy for several reasons. First, you might crave more carbohydrates, which feed the bacteria in your mouth. Then, morning sickness may increase the amount of acid in your mouth, which can eat away at your enamel. Finally, brushing and flossing may become less of a priority because of your more sensitive gag reflex, tender gums, and low energy levels. Just keep up with your oral care routine to prevent these problems!
- Swollen gums: During some pregnancies, gum tissue may swell between the teeth. This overgrowth causes your gums to bleed easily and take on a raw-looking appearance. The swelling should dissipate after you have your baby, but if you have concerns, feel free to discuss them with Dr. Evanson.
- Sensitive teeth: Your pregnancy may bring on sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, even if you’ve never had this problem before. During this time, you should avoid foods that make your teeth hurt, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and approach Dr. Evanson with any specific concerns you have.
What Dental Procedures are Allowed During Pregnancy?
If you have a high-risk pregnancy or certain medical conditions, it may be best to postpone some dental treatments until after you give birth, including teeth whitening and other cosmetic procedures. However, most routine care is perfectly safe—even recommended—for expecting mothers. Here are some examples:
- Dental cleanings: There’s no reason to avoid having your teeth cleaned during pregnancy. Nothing about this preventative care endangers your baby in any way, and you can use your visit as a time to ask Dr. Evanson about any tooth and gum problems you’re experiencing.
- Filling cavities: It’s recommended that you have cavities filled without delay during your pregnancy to reduce the chance of infection, which could potentially harm your baby. Local anesthesia is considered safe, but you should receive as little of it as possible while still ensuring your comfort during the procedure.
- Dental X-rays: You may request to have routine X-rays postponed until after you have your baby. However, if you need an X-ray to perform an emergency dental procedure, the American College of Radiology states that no single diagnostic X-ray has enough radiation to adversely affect your growing baby. Plus, the X-ray technician fits you with a shield to cover your abdomen, which blocks most, if not all, of the radiation.
Schedule Your Next Appointment with Dr. Evanson Today!
Since we advise most patients to visit the dentist every six months, you should plan to see Dr. Evanson at least once during your nine-month pregnancy. Even if you only suspect you are pregnant, let us know so we can help you make the best decisions regarding your oral health and unborn baby.
For questions about how pregnancy affects your teeth, or to schedule your next dentist appointment, please call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 or contact us online today!Leave a reply →