Pregnancy & Dental Care: Is it Still Safe?
To all of the expectant mothers out there, both current and potential patients, everyone at our dental office wants to say, “Congratulations!” Whether you’re a new parent experiencing every special moment for the very first time, or a seasoned parental pro who knows exactly how this all goes, it’s essential not to put off your upcoming cleanings or treatments.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you need to proceed with dental care when you’re expecting.
1) Your oral health and overall health are related.
Not one but three of some of the country’s most respected dental/medical organizations (the American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics) encourage every mother to see the dentist, especially during the earlier phases and stages of your pregnancy. What’s going on in your mouth (i.e., gum disease or infections, cavities, decay, etc.) can have a direct result on the rest of your body. It’s important to address issues early for improved health for you and your baby.
2) Hormonal changes can lead to changes in your gum health.
Some women notice no changes in their teeth or gums throughout their pregnancy, but some mothers develop inflammation in their gums causing tenderness, swelling, and bleeding. This condition is commonly referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis.” Your Wilmington dentist will tell you it’s important to monitor your gum health and make sure your gingivitis symptoms are taken care of with more frequent cleanings.
3) Changes in diet and sickness can lead to increased tooth decay risk.
There’s no secret that when you become pregnant food can either be your best friend or your enemy, depending on much you’re forced to face morning sickness issues. Increasing the amount of carbohydrates or sugar you regularly consume or excess acid in your mouth from morning sickness can both lead to decay and tooth enamel erosion.
4) Dental treatment and cleanings in all three pregnancy trimesters is safe.
Depending on the nature of your procedure, it’s rare that we have to postpone treatment due to pregnancy concerns. The second trimester is usually the safest, most easiest time to get your dental work done. It’s also safe in the last trimester, but some patients find uncomfortable or difficult to sit back during treatment. It’s certainly your choice on how to proceed with treatment during pregnancy. If your procedure is vital to your medical health (and your baby), you should get the work done. If it’s something you’ve elected to do on your own and can wait, you’re encouraged to do so until you’re 100% ready.
Seeing your dentist is crucial during your pregnancy, and so is maintaining your regular brushing and flossing routine at home. We understand that there are so many things you have to do, so many new emotions to handle, and so many days where you’re just too tired to even think. No matter where you’re at in your pregnancy, you can always call our Wilmington dental office. We’re happy to answer your questions, schedule you for a visit, and alleviate your anxiety.