Dental Concerns During Pregnancy

Dental Concerns During Pregnancy

December 3, 2021

Pregnancy is an exciting time, especially if you are expecting your first child. While you are running helter-skelter preparing your pregnancy to-do list before your baby arrives, you may decide to overlook regular dental exams and cleanings. If you neglect your

dental checkup, you’ll miss out on valuable information your dentist can share with you about pregnancy-related dental symptoms you could experience.

The American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that women continue to receive routine dental care while pregnant. Maintaining excellent dental health is essentially related to having good overall health, which is crucial for women during pregnancy.

When to Tell Your Dentist You Are Pregnant

Women suspecting pregnancy must inform their dental office before scheduling an appointment. It helps if you tell your dentist how far along you are, the medications you take, and any special information or unique advice you may have received from your OBGYN. If your pregnancy is high-risk or you have certain medical issues, your dentist and physician recommend that some dental treatments, especially dental surgery, are best postponed.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Mouth?

Many women go through pregnancy without any dental discomfort. However, pregnancy can worsen some conditions or cause you to develop new issues. Getting regular dental exams and maintaining excellent dental habits will help keep you and your baby healthy.

During pregnancy, you become prone to pregnancy gingivitis. This condition arises because of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Pregnancy gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, causing swelling and tenderness. As a result, you may experience bleeding when brushing and flossing. If you ignore the condition and allow it to progress, you will end up experiencing more severe forms of gum disease, which are irreversible. Therefore your dentist recommends frequent dental cleanings to prevent gum disease from occurring.

Pregnant women are also at high risk of developing tooth decay due to dietary changes. Many patients who experience cravings for carbohydrates and sugary foods will see an increased risk for tooth decay. In addition, the acids in your mouth increase due to morning sickness, eroding the outer tooth enamel covering your tooth and allowing cavities to form.

Pregnancy tumors can occur in some women during the second trimester. Pregnancy tumors are not cancer; they are simply swelling that occurs between the teeth. Excess plaque is a common cause of pregnancy tumors, which bleed easily and have a reddish appearance. The tumors disappear by themselves after the birth of your baby. However, if you are concerned, you can discuss the matter with your dentist to determine

the best way to manage them.

Local Anesthetics During Pregnancy

If you need tooth extractions, dental fillings, or root canals, you don’t have to worry about the safety of local anesthesia during pregnancy. In reality, the numbing medications are safe both for you and your baby.

Research conducted in 2015 by the journal of the American Dental Association studied a group of pregnant women who underwent procedures using anesthetics, like lidocaine shots, and women that did not. The study revealed that local anesthesia during pregnancy was safe and caused no difference in the rate of miscarriages, congenital disabilities, or premature weight in the baby. In addition, the study identified no evidence that dental treatments with anesthetics were harmful during pregnancy. You can undergo any treatment recommended by dentists to safeguard your dental and overall health, even under local anesthesia.

Provide your dentist with all information about prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs you are taking. This information enables your dentist to consult with your physician (if necessary) and determine which options are best for your situation.

Modern dental procedures and techniques are safe and not likely to harm you or your baby. While your dentist is a specialist working only in your mouth, we comprehensively understand your concerns. We will work with your OBGYN or family doctor to ensure your safety and that of your baby when recommending or providing any treatments.

If you have any concerns about changes to your teeth or gums during pregnancy, contact our office today for an appointment!