Dental Care While Pregnant: What You Need to Know
Are there extra dental risks if I’m pregnant?
There are some extra risks. Continue reading for details on these common concerns:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Dietary habit changes
Tooth decay and gum disease
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If gum disease progresses too far, it can lead to the more severe periodontal disease. Research has suggested a link between gum disease and premature birth, so it is important to watch for the signs and take good care of your teeth.
Vomiting leaves stomach acid on the teeth, which can damage the protective layer of enamel. If you brush with a hard brush immediately after vomiting, you can cause further damage to the enamel.
Instead, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. Swish some mouthwash, and then brush your teeth gently with fluoridated toothpaste.
Depending on pregnancy-related cravings, you may eat food that can harm your teeth more regularly, such as sugary, sticky, or gummy foods. If you find yourself eating these types of foods, brush your teeth afterward with a soft bristled tooth brush.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk or severity of gum disease. After giving birth, hormone-related gum issues often resolve with proper daily dental care. However, if gum disease during pregnancy progressed too far, you may need additional treatment.
It is especially important to watch for signs of gum disease or cavities while pregnant. If you notice the following signs, consult your dentist:
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Receding gumlines or longer teeth
- Extra sensitive teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
How should I care for my teeth while pregnant?
Caring for your teeth is especially important while pregnant, because pregnant women are at an increased risk for gum disease, and research has shown a link between periodontal disease and premature birth.
To keep your teeth healthy:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss daily
- Use toothpaste with fluoride
- Watch for gum disease symptoms
- Visit your dentist every 6 months or however often your dentist recommends
Should I visit the dentist while pregnant?
Yes! Don’t neglect to get regular checkups and cleanings during pregnancy. It is safe to do so, and recommended by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association. Let your dentist know you’re pregnant as soon as you think you might be, as well as any medications you are on.
Looking for a top-rated dentist in Gainesville, Georgia?
Dr. Brad Dixon is a leading dentist in Gainesville. He and his staff foster a safe, friendly atmosphere, merging patient comfort and excellence in dentistry seamlessly. Contact us today and we’ll set up an appointment!