​Dentist Digest Monthly: Tooth Care During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an amazing time, but it can also come with its share of challenges. When you have to have dental work done, it is important that all treatments are conducted with that pregnancy in mind. Aiming for reducing dental complications is also crucial, as any work can come with an increased risk of infection.

Here are some things you should know about caring for teeth during the months of pregnancy.

Pregnancy May Lead To Increased Dental Issues

When you are pregnant, a number of hormones are released into the body and remain there, at varying levels, until a few months post-partum. These hormones change the way the mouth responds to and fights plaque, one of the more dangerous threats to gum and tooth health.

Decaying teeth, receding gums and even gum disease risks are higher in pregnant women as a result of this fact. Some women may experience bleeding gums when brushing/flossing, or even pain and swelling in the mouth.

Dental Work May Be Done, But Is Not Recommended

Because of the increased risk of infection, any dental work beyond simple cleaning is not recommended until after the birth. However, emergency treatments can still be conducted. Your dentist will take special care to ensure all procedures combat against possible infection, including the potential use of preemptive antibiotics during recovery.

All of this is usually done during the first two trimesters. During the third trimester, outlying factors may impact the ability to work on teeth. Those factors include the woman’s ability to lay back in one spot for an increased amount of time, the type of local anesthetic that has to be used, or the need for painkillers following treatment.

Prevention Is The Best Course Of Action

The best thing a woman can do during pregnancy is to care for her dental hygiene diligently, to reduce the potential need for work before or after birth. Some tips are:

  • Wash out the mouth with water, then with mouthwash, following pregnancy related vomiting. Toothbrushing should be postponed between 20 and 60 minutes, but should be conducted within that frame.
  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush to protect against damage to the enamel.
  • Brush along the gumline each time the teeth are cleaned. If the gums are swollen, sensitive or bleeding, some toothpaste on a clean finger may be used to gently cleanse the gumline instead.
  • Increase calcium intake to replenish the nutrients lost to the fetus during pregnancy.

For more information, visit Bridgecreek Dental.

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