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Maintaining Dental Health During Pregnancy
A male dentist treating the teeth of a young pregnant woman patient seated in the dental chair

When a woman becomes pregnant, oral health is seldom given much importance. But did you know that physiological changes due to pregnancy can sometimes cause oral health issues? Also, that pre-existing oral problems can affect the well-being of the mother and the unborn child? That is why dental care during pregnancy is a must.

Our article aims to educate you about the potential impact of new and pre-existing dental conditions and the importance of timely dental treatment during pregnancy.

Oral Health Issues & Options For Dental Treatment During Pregnancy

  • Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy causes remarkable hormonal changes in a woman's body, resulting in very tender gums easily irritated by plaque. This gum disease is called Pregnancy Gingivitis and commonly occurs between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. Surprisingly, at least 65%-75% of pregnant women suffer from Gingivitis. Dental experts point to four reasons that cause Pregnancy Gingivitis:

  • High levels of progesterone and estrogen cause an increase in gingival sensitivity to irritants.
  • Prolonged neglect of oral health leads to the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gums.
  • Frequent vomiting that causes an acidic environment in the oral cavity.
  • Hesitancy to have dental checkups due to fear and misconceptions.

The Solution:

  • Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day.
  • Consult your dentist if you notice bleeding in your gums.
  • Have a full oral examination before pregnancy.

The easiest way to prevent Gingivitis is to keep plaque under control by making time for simple oral care during the pregnancy period.

  • Periodontitis

When Gingivitis is not treated on time, it can lead to Periodontitis or inflammation of the gums. The early symptoms of this gum disease are characterised by swollen gums, tenderness, and redness. In severe cases, the inflammation can cause the gums and connective tissues to pull away, leading to loss of teeth. Research suggests that pregnant women suffering from Periodontitis are at an increased risk of having pre-term babies or babies with low birth weight.

To prevent the risk of Periodontitis during pregnancy, your teeth require extra dental care like brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups.

  • Dental Erosion

Excessive mouth acidity due to frequent nausea and vomiting can lead to dental erosion during pregnancy. Dental erosion occurs when the tooth enamel is constantly exposed to mouth acidity. Dental experts suggest that women should avoid brushing their teeth after vomiting. They should rather rinse their mouth with diluted water and baking soda solution to neutralise the acidity.

Some pregnant women may also have painful lumps along the gumline. While these lumps are generally harmless, they can make brushing and flossing a daily challenge. Moreover, the lumps will disappear after childbirth. Hence they are not a major concern like the above mentioned oral health issues.

Dental Care During Pregnancy: How Safe Is It?

Many pregnant women are unsure if it is safe to visit the dentist and undergo dental procedures. It is one of the main reasons why dental care takes a backseat during pregnancy. Well, is it safe? Experts at 4 Squares Dentistry say it is safe to have a checkup as long as the person finds it convenient to sit in the dental chair, especially in the last trimester.

According to experts:

  • It is safe to have procedures like cavity fillings and crowns if they are absolutely necessary.
  • Procedures like whitening and other dental cosmetic treatments should wait until after pregnancy.
  • Dental x-rays are safe because your throat and abdomen will be covered with a protective apron.

Tips For Dental Care During Pregnancy

There is no reason to forego your dental care while you are pregnant. However, you ought to be a little more cautious about the safety of your unborn child. Here are some tips for you to follow during this period:

  • Always inform your dentist if you are pregnant, especially in the first trimester.
  • Check if your gynaecologist has special instructions for you before your dental appointment.
  • Inform your dentist of all the medication, including special medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Pay attention to any changes in the health of your gums, such as bleeding and tenderness.
  • Complete your scheduled dental appointment- pregnancy is no excuse for skipping it.
  • Ask your dentist to recommend a bland-tasting toothpaste if you have severe morning sickness.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, avoid sugary snacks and fizzy drinks.

It is also important to choose a good dental hospital for dental treatment during pregnancy. At 4 Squares Dentistry, we have a committed team of expert dentists and dental hygienists who give you the best possible care. Our dental clinic in Medavakkam, and dentists in Gowrivakkam, Chennai, offer the latest and safest dental treatment options. With 4 Squares Dentistry, you are always in safe hands.

Also Read: Know About The Common Dental Issues