How Does Being Pregnant Affect Your Dental Health?
Dental Health & Pregnancy
Are you or someone you know expecting a baby this year?
There’s a lot to think about for expecting Moms, there is always something to deliberate and it seems there are always more questions than answers.
From deciding on a peaceful color palette for the nursery to finding the perfect car seat, doctors’ appointments & diaper decisions, these are just a few of the many things expecting Moms have on their plate in the days leading up to actually having a baby.
Unfortunately, many expectant Moms think that since they’re seeing their doctors regularly, they can forget about seeing their dentist.
Due to hormonal changes a lot of pregnant women experience what is called “pregnancy gingivitis,” a form of gum disease.
Maybe you’ve heard of the old wives’ tale, “gain a child, lose a tooth.”
It’s not really that much of a tale, given that a recent study has shown that a correlation does exist between tooth loss and pregnancy.
So if you’re soon-to-be a mom, you should add a dental checkup to that growing list of to do’s. Pregnancy has major effects on your body, and on your teeth & gums too.
Here’s what expecting Moms should know about pregnancy and dental health.
Dental Health & Pregnancy FAQs
When should expectant Moms see the dentist?
As soon as you know you’re pregnant you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.
During the exam be sure to talk with your dentist to let them know how far along you are, and if you have any pre-existing medical conditions not yet discussed.
Why should pregnant women see their dentist?
Pregnancy puts you at an elevated risk for tooth decay and gum disease (also known as “pregnancy gingivitis”).
Expectant Moms have also been afflicted with oral growths called “pregnancy tumors.” Despite the nasty terminology, these conditions are preventable.
So, just like you’re making appointments with physicians and obstetricians, pregnant Moms should make an appointment with your dentist too.
How can pregnant Moms avoid dental health problems?
A diligent daily dental health regimen of regular brushing and flossing will help fight the cavity creeps and help prevent “pregnancy gingivitis.”
As for the so-called “pregnancy tumors,” these usually disappear after your baby is born, but you can ask your dentist the best course of action for dealing with those issues.
How does dental health affect a newborn baby’s health?
Recent studies have indicated that pregnant women who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe gum disease may be at higher risk for delivering a pre-term, low-birth weight baby.
There is more research to be done outlining the correlations between pregnancy, oral health, & the overall health connection with gum disease.
Are dental cleanings OK for pregnant women?
Yes, dental – or teeth cleanings – are not harmful, and are highly recommended for any expecting Mom-to-be.
Regular dental exams and teeth cleanings are all part of a well-rounded oral health regimen, which is especially important for pregnant women.
Are dental x-rays safe during pregnancy?
Yes, and the American Dental Association says so – in addition to your dentist.
Dental x-rays identify dental health problems that would not otherwise be seen.
Dental x-rays are not believed to cause birth defects, although according to Delta Dental, a 2004 study did find an increase in low-weight birth among women who had dental x-rays while pregnant.
If you have any concerns about dental x-rays, do yourself a favor and talk with your dentist. Searching on Google will give you answers, and some of them might even be accurate. But you’ll also see results of all different types of news, conjecture, opinion, and worse.
Talk to your dentist, they’re the only ones who can evaluate your case and decide whether or not x-rays are necessary.
Is is safe to receive anesthesia when pregnant?
Expecting Moms are best to avoid anesthesia, particularly during the first trimester. If you think you need any dental treatment requiring anesthesia, talk with your dentist.
They’ll probably tell you to either delay the the procedure until later in your pregnancy, or educate you about other ways to reduce pain or anxiety.
These are the days of falling asleep in the dental chair, even root canals are performed with minimal discomfort.
Wayne NJ Dentist for Kids: Frank V. Maldonado, D.D.S.
Dr. Frank Maldonado provides all phases general & family dentistry with expertise treating patients from 1 to 100+! We promise to provide your children with the highest level of comfort and care possible.
Schedule your child’s appointment today by calling us at (973) 694-8625.
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