The old tale that for every baby, a woman can expect to lose a tooth is a myth. But it is true that during pregnancy, some women can experience gum disease, which can lead to tooth decay. Hormone increase during the pregnancy changes the way the body reacts and stores plaque. So it is important that while being pregnant, one must take proper oral care. Seeking the help of a dentist is necessary to retain healthy teeth during and after pregnancy.
Common Causes Of Dental Problems
Several reasons can cause dental problems during pregnancy. Some of them are:
- Gum problems and Gingivitis: Swelling of the gum and bleeding from it when one brushes or flosses.
- Pregnancy epulis or pyogenic granuloma: enlargement of a particular area in the gum that can bleed easily. One might require professional cleaning and in extreme cases, excision.
- Chronic gum infection: In case there is already a gum infection, pregnancy is likely to worsen it.
- Retching while brushing the teeth
- Cravings for sugary food
How Can You Mitigate The Problems?
There are multiple ways that you can mitigate the dental problems that can affect you during pregnancy.
- Ensure you take care of your teeth even before you are pregnant
- Tell your dentist about any gum infection or problem you have once you are pregnant
- Start using a soft toothbrush
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Never brush teeth immediately after vomiting, as the stomach acids that cover your teeth will scratch the enamel when brushed without rinsing your mouth.
- Rinse your mouth with plain water, then with fluoridated mouthwash. In case you do not have fluoridated mouthwash smear your fluoridated toothpaste over the teeth and then rinse it with water.
- Brush your teeth an hour later after vomiting
- If you retch during brushing use a small head toothbrush like the ones used for toddlers
- Stop brushing vigorously and try to concentrate on your breathing rather than brushing.
- If the taste of the toothpaste is provoking your gag reflex, then try out other brands.
- If that does not help then brush your teeth with plain water and follow it up with fluoridated mouthwash.
- In case of cravings for sugary food, try healthier alternatives like fresh fruits instead of processed sugary food.
- With plain water or mouthwash (alcohol-free) rinse your mouth every time you have a sugary snack
- Increase your calcium intake by eating foods that are naturally high in calcium like milk, cheese, unsweetened yoghurt, calcium-fortified soymilk
- Increase your intake of vitamin D with foods like fatty fish, such as salmon, eggs, etc.
Why Is Good Dental Care Important During Pregnancy?
Researches have shown there is a link between gum diseases among pregnant women leading to premature birth with babies having low birth weight. The research further estimates that 18 out of 100 premature deliveries are the result of periodontal disease. Premature babies have increased risk of being affected with different health conditions including problems with eyesight, hearing and cerebral palsy.
By getting proper dental treatment during pregnancy, you can reduce the risk of premature birth.
Why Should You Let Your Doctor Know About Your Pregnancy?
You should tell your dentist about your pregnancy so that he/she can take proper precaution while treating your teeth and gums. A dentist will avoid taking x-rays until the baby is born, and in case the dentist has to, then he/she will take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of the baby.
At Chats Dental, we understand how valuable and precious your pregnancy is while acknowledging the importance of having good oral health. We take every precaution when treating a pregnant patient. If you want a check-up or want to consult with us book an appointment with us.