Is it necessary for dental checkups during Pregnancy?
Similar to prenatal checkups, dental checkups are also essential for every woman during their pregnancy period. Why?
Your dental health has a direct effect on the health of your baby.
Your teeth and gums are highly vulnerable to infection due to the hormonal changes occur during maternity. Such infection will lead to premature birth, low birth weight, etc.
Effect of pregnancy on Oral Health
As mentioned earlier, a woman’s body produces hormones at higher levels when she is pregnant. Such increased level of hormones introduces certain bacteria to her mouth. This makes her health prone to various oral diseases. They include:
Gingivitis –The influx of higher acid levels and bacteria due to the increased level of Progesterone hormone cause various gum diseases like Gingivitis. In general, a woman has higher chances of affected by this disease during the maternity period. It causes reddish spots on gum lines, swollen gums and at times makes the gum bleed while brushing.
Periodontitis – If Gingivitis is left untreated, the infection on gums becomes stronger and lead to serious gum disease called Periodontitis.
Tooth decay – Your mouth is exposed to the higher amount of acids during maternity. Such deposition of acids on your teeth weakens the tooth enamel (hard outer covering of a tooth). It will lead to tooth decay.
Pregnancy tumors – Pregnancy tumors are common during pregnancy period. In general, it seems in the gum lines between teeth. This caused due to the lumps which form on the swollen gums. In cases, it will cure itself after you deliver a baby. Otherwise, it requires certain surgical procedures for extraction.
Tooth loss – Gum (or) Periodontal diseases are effective to weaken a tooth. Besides this, hormones like estrogen and progesterone weaken the tissue and bone that support the teeth. It also eventually lead to tooth loss.
Dental Care and treatments during Pregnancy
Get a dental check-up before getting pregnant because certain dental procedures cannot be done during the first menstrual cycle. Similarly, your health cannot support some oral treatments when you are pregnant.
- It is important to tell your dentist about the medications and drugs prescribed by your obstetrician. This is because an overdose of certain medicines is taken advantage by oral bacteria and cause infection.
- Plaque and tartar buildup is common during pregnancy period. Hence a pregnant woman needs to get Professional teeth cleaning at regular intervals.
- Similarly, it is better to take an X-ray to analyze cavities, infection in gum tissues, weaken bone support of teeth and others. A Dentist uses a small amount of radiation for dental X-rays. It does not affect you and the baby in your womb. Hence you don’t need to worry about the radiation.
- Pay attention to your gums during this period. If you are experiencing any difficulties with your gum lines like gum pain, bleeding gums, swollen, tenderness or others during pregnancy, Consult your Dentist.
Apart from the dental care you get from the dental office, you should take care of your oral health by keeping effective oral hygiene practices. Maintain a healthy & balanced diet. Similarly, you should consume less amount of sugary foods during this period.
Instead of sugar products, add dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. As these are rich in calcium and minerals, it will strengthen the teeth and gums of the baby in your womb.
Do you know? The teeth of a baby begin to develop in the sixth week of pregnancy. Even though the teeth erupt after delivery, they are already developed and present beneath the gum lines.
To say simply, the care you take on your oral health during maternity is also for the dental health of your baby sleeping in your womb.