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What to Expect When Expecting: How Being Pregnant Affects Your Mouth

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What to Expect When Expecting: How Being Pregnant Affects Your Mouth

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When becoming pregnant, your fluctuating hormones can cause increased dental problems. As your hormone levels rise, your mouth can succumb to gum disease, risk of tooth decay, and won’t fight off plaque as well as it does when you’re not pregnant. When you’re expecting a baby, follow these tips to keep your mouth healthy throughout your pregnancy journey. 

Common Dental Problems While Pregnant

Though pregnancy doesn’t automatically mean you will have more mouth problems, it can contribute to them if you’re not careful. When pregnant, women are more susceptible to dental problems because of their fluctuating hormones. During pregnancy, the increased hormones can lead to some of these common problems listed by BetterHealth:

  • Gum disease which is an infection that can damage that soft tissue and break down bones supporting your teeth resulting in tooth loss
  • Tooth decay results from bacteria attacking the tooth’s enamel and can cause further infection and even loss of the tooth
  • Increased plaque is common while pregnant because the body can’t fight off the plaque-causing bacteria due to the higher hormone levels 

Is Dental Work Safe While Pregnant?

This is a common concern as most soon-to-be moms worry if having dental treatments done during pregnancy is safe. The American Pregnancy Association says, “preventative dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe but are recommended.” These regular checkups are more important now than ever. If that doesn’t put you quite at ease, let’s look at it a little more in depth. 

Regular exams and cleanings

These are extremely safe for expecting moms and important for their health. During pregnancy, like we’ve mentioned, the hormone levels subject women to more dental problems. Continuing on with your regular trips to the dentist will help prevent or stop problems before they become too out of hand. 

Women can begin to experience painful swollen red and bleeding gums that can bring on gum disease and other infections. When continuing to visit the dentist regularly, it can help prevent gum disease, which has been shown to cause preterm births

Cavity treatment

It is safe to have a cavity filled during your pregnancy, even if you need a slight amount of local anesthesia to get through it. In fact, it might be best to ensure that your body isn’t experiencing extra stress that is then placed on the child. 

Crowns

If you need a crown while pregnant, it’s safe to get. It can also help prevent further infection, which is a win. 

X-rays

The use of x-rays during pregnancy is safe when done correctly by covering the mom’s entire abdomen with an appropriate apron. However, if you’re nervous about this, x-rays can typically be put off until you give birth. 

Can Treatment Be Done in Any Trimester? 

The best time to have dental work will be during your second trimester, because this means most of your baby’s organs are developed and there is less risk for side effects. However, once you hit the third trimester it might be best to put off any needed work until you have your baby. Your dentist will be able to answer all of your questions and concerns about any procedure you need while pregnant. 

Medications and Pregnancy 

It’s important to be cautious with medications while pregnant. If you need some dental work done, we will use as little anesthesia as possible so that you’re comfortable, but so it won’t affect the baby. It’s important to feel comfortable during your treatment while pregnant so that the baby doesn’t experience any unwanted stress. 

It’s also considered safe to take antibiotics while pregnant if you’re needing to fight off an infection. Your dentist will be able to tell you exactly which antibiotic is best for your situation. 

Maintaining a Healthy Mouth While Expecting

While pregnant continue to brush and floss as nomal, twice a day. The ADA also recommends following these tips for a healthy mouth during pregnancy:

  • Using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Only using products that are approved by the ADA
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Visiting the dentist regularly
  • Using a antimicrobial rinse if needed to fight plaque
  • If experiencing vomiting with morning sickness, rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to counteract the effects the stomach acid has on the teeth 

 

Pregnancy Dental Care with Mountain Aire Dentistry

At Mountain Aire Dentistry we will provide you with complete dental care for whatever part of life. If you’re expecting, come see us to learn how to care for your mouth during your pregnancy. Call us today at (303)-731-7755 to make an appointment.