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If you are expecting, congratulations, this is a wonderful and exciting time for you. We at Friendly Dentistry would like to extend our good wishes. There are a few myths about pregnancy and teeth that we want to dispel and would love to help you care for your smile while you are expecting.
There is an old saying that “one tooth is lost for every pregnancy”. That is an old wives’ tale that you should certainly not accept. Tooth loss, tooth decay, periodontal disease, does not have to be a part of your pregnancy. While it is true that there are some risks to your oral health while you are pregnant, those risks can be reduced with regular checkups and good oral health care.
Pregnancy And Oral Health Care
This is going to be a very busy time for you but does not neglect your oral health care. During your first trimester, the earlier the better, make an appointment to see the dentist. Get a cleaning, and speak to the dental hygienist and the dentist about any concerns that you have.
Continue to brush and floss as usual, ask the dentist about using fluoride toothpaste during your pregnancy. Have all tooth decay (caries, cavities) issues addressed with fillings, early on in your pregnancy so you can focus on your maternity health.
You and your dentist can come up with an oral health care plan for the next 9 months to ensure you get through your pregnancy with a happy, healthy smile.
First a Myth: The Baby Takes Calcium From your Teeth
The baby does take calcium from your body, but it comes from your bones, not your teeth, or your tooth enamel, and there is plenty to go around. You should not expect any bone loss due to pregnancy. During pregnancy, it is the increase in hormones that affect your teeth and gums, just like they affect every other area of your body. Again, good oral care can help to offset any of the threats.
One of the most common oral health problems during pregnancy is something called pregnancy gingivitis. The surge in hormones can affect the way your gums react to plaque and tartar. Gum tissue can become inflamed, red, you can suffer from bleeding gums when you brush your teeth and all the symptoms of gum disease, but there are ways to offset the problem.
Most women will suffer from some sort of gum inflammation when they are pregnant. At Friendly Dentistry we provide the treatments that help to keep the condition under control. Swollen gums can be painful and an invitation to bacteria. Food particles can get stuck in the pockets that form. Left untreated the condition can progress to periodontitis. With regular check-ups, you can have healthy gums while you are pregnant.
Oral Pregnancy Tumors
Pregnancy tumors are non-cancerous tumors that develop when gums are swollen and irritated. In most cases, the tumors are left alone because they will shrink after the baby is born and hormones return to normal levels. These tumors are common and very very rarely are indications of oral cancer.
Of course, you do want to consult with the dentist during your check-up to make sure it is not a risk. If the tumor is bothering you when you are chewing the dentist can remove it.
Dry Mouth and Bad Breath
Those pregnancy hormones can really change the environment of your mouth. You may find that you are producing less saliva, have developed a propensity for bad breath, and are constantly dealing with a dry mouth. It is normal. Certain medications during pregnancy can cause dry mouth.
Speak to your dentist about your symptoms. An overly dry mouth can be a risk to your healthy teeth. Your dentist may recommend a mouth wash. You can also amp up your water intake to help to try to combat the condition.
Good Oral Hygiene While Pregnant
The environment in your mouth will change while you are pregnant so you really want to pay attention to your oral hygiene. Flossing regularly and getting in between the teeth can dislodge food and keep bacteria from growing. Stay away from sugary foods and drink that cause tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing, a regular professional cleaning, a tooth-healthy diet and keeping your regular dental appointments can help you to enjoy good oral health throughout your pregnancy. Your dentist and the hygienist at Friendly Dentistry are there to partner with you during your pregnancy.
Limit tobacco use while pregnant to ZERO tobacco use. Low birth weight has been associated with tobacco use and gum disease. Just do not smoke while pregnant or use any products with nicotine to avoid potential problems.
What Dental Treatment Can I Have While Pregnant?
One of the questions we often hear at Friendly Dentistry is regarding what dental care is “safe” during pregnancy. Healthy gums, a healthy mouth help to improve your general health which of course is good for the baby.
Dental caries (cavities) can be painful and cause mom stress which is not good for the baby. Additionally, any dental infection needs to be dealt with to ensure the baby’s safety. Typically we will ask you to speak to your obstetrician to get the go-ahead for any dental treatment just to ensure your safety.
Last trimester dental work can wait unless you are in pain than we will address the problem and work with your obstetrician to ensure the dental procedure is without risk to you or your baby.
Enjoy Good Oral Health
A healthy pregnancy and teeth can be managed effortlessly with the support of Friendly Dentistry. See your dentist early on in your pregnancy and learn more about dental hygiene steps while you are pregnant from toothbrushing to dealing with receding gums. Make your appointment today and get your pregnancy oral health off to the right start.