The American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage women to get dental care while pregnant.
It’s crucial for you to take great care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing cavities, infections and gum disease which, in turn, can affect your health and the health of your baby.
Regular periodontal (gum) exams are crucial, as pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. You are especially at risk if you have pregnancy induced diabetes. Pay attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist or give us a call.
Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe but are highly recommended throughout pregnancy. As a general rule routine preventative dental work such as fillings and crowns, should be treated during the second trimester to reduce the chance of any infection. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if he or she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
Dental decay or cavities are another issue during pregnancy. Changes in behavior and eating habits can contribute to poor dental health during pregnancy but the growing child also takes essential nutrients out of your body, specifically calcium from your teeth. It is essential to address this cavity-causing bacteria or it can be passed by the mother to the baby after birth and set the stage for childhood dental problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that:
- At least one in four women of childbearing age have untreated cavities
- Children of mothers with untreated cavities or tooth loss are more than three times more likely to have cavities at a young age
- Children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school because of toothaches
With proper dental hygiene at home and caring, professional support from your family dentist, your mouth should remain healthy during pregnancy. Maintaining proper dental health habits will also help to reduce gum diseases and dental cavities.
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss your teeth at least once daily
- See your dentist regularly
Eat well and maintain a good diet throughout your pregnancy to protect your teeth and your health.
If you have any questions, please call or visit Dr. Nolan Jangaard, your caring family dentist located in Irvine, and put your worries to rest. At Caring Family Dentistry Irvine, we take care of your oral health and help you overcome dental anxiety so you can get the treatment you need. Contact us today at (949) 551-2024 or fill out our contact form for your dental appointment and we will contact you.