Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease
Pregnancy is a natural and extraordinarily beautiful process in the life of a woman, therefore medical supervision, prevention and physical and emotional help are needed throughout this time so that this dynamic state of changes does not affect the health of the pregnant woman.
The teeth, supporting tissues and oral mucosa can be affected by changes induced during pregnancy, which makes oral care necessary in pregnant women.
Poor oral habits during pregnancy have been associated with preterm labor, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia; This is why it is extremely important to check with your dentist and perform dental cleanings during pregnancy.
Half of all pregnant women develop what we call pregnancy gingivitis during the second trimester. This condition causes the gums to become red, tender, sore and bleeding.
This is due to an increase in hormonal levels, mainly estrogens and progesterones, essential hormones for the development of the fetus; but unfortunately on many occasions they produce capillary vasodilation, which favors exudate and permeability of the gums, increasing micro vascularization; This causes an exaggerated inflammatory response that causes the gums to become more easily irritated by plaque bacteria.
Brush three times a day for two minutes, cleaning between your teeth once a day helps keep your gums healthy.
Losing a tooth is NOT a normal part of pregnancy, and if you lose it, chances are you have already had a previous dental problem; however, we must take certain precautions against different conditions that can happen during pregnancy.
- During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is produced, whose function is to relax the joints to facilitate childbirth, and can also act on the periodontal ligament causing slight dental mobility that tends to disappear after delivery. It is unusual to find a severe picture of bone resorption and tooth loss due to mobility.
If there is a previous periodontal disease, it will be aggravated by the same factors before mentioned.
Unfortunately, morning sickness can hit any time of the day. Vomit contains stomach acids that can eat away at your teeth, so waiting to brush after you’ve rinsed your mouth can help prevent those acids from doing damage. Instead of brushing, first swish and spit. You can use water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tsp. of baking soda. Spit it out, and brush your teeth about 30 minutes later.
Yes! In fact, your dentist may recommend additional cleanings during your second trimester and early third trimester to help control gingivitis. If your last visit to the dentist was more than 6 months ago or if you notice any changes in your mouth, schedule an appointment. Always let your dental office know how far along you are when you call, and tell your dentist of any change in the medications you take or if you have received any special advice from your physician.
Yes, dental X-rays are safe during pregnancy. Your dentist or hygienist will cover you with a protective apron that minimizes exposure to the abdomen. Your dental office will also whenever possible cover your throat with a protective thyroid collar to protect the thyroid from radiation.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agrees that procedures like cavity fillings and crowns are safe and important to have during pregnancy to prevent potential infection. It may be more uncomfortable to sit in a dental chair the later you are in pregnancy, so schedule dental work in your second trimester, if possible. Cosmetic procedures, like whitening, should wait until after baby arrives. If you need an emergency procedure, work with your dentist on the best plan for the health of you and your baby.