The answer is YES! Yes you should see the dentist when you are pregnant.
There are three direct issues of how pregnancy can affect the mouth. They are:
Pregnant women are more likely to develop a cavity while they are pregnant. A major contributor is increased consumption of carbohydrates. The increase in sugars increases the food for the bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities. The other major contributor can be from the results of morning sickness and GERD. Both issues lead to increased stomach acid in the mouth which drastically increases the risk for tooth decay.
During pregnancy the body produces several hormones which help the baby and the support system for the baby grow. Your gum tissues also respond to these hormones. In the presence of dental plaque the gums become much more inflamed than typical. This leads to swelling, bleeding, and painful gums.
In certain cases the inflammation from pregnancy gingivitis can cause significant overgrowths of tissues. It is not cancer. It is an excessive inflammatory response to excess plaque or tarter. The large swollen gums can bleed very easily and have a strawberry appearance. These typically resolve on their own after the baby is born though sometimes a patient will require a small surgery to restore the gums to their original size.
Make sure to schedule with your dentist for comprehensive care during pregnancy.
The big thing to know is that going to the dentist while you are pregnant is recommended and it is safe for you and the baby. Keeping your teeth and gums disease free is really important. Oral disease is linked to Pre-Term Birth and low birth weight. A healthy mouth helps keep the baby healthy. When you are pregnant keep your checkup and cleaning appointments.
Make sure you keep your cleaning and check-up appointments. If you need treatment because of decay or break-down it is best to be treated in the second trimester. This time is the safest for the baby and for the expecting mother. Any treatment that is elective such as veneers or implants should wait until after the baby is born.
Another question that patients ask frequently about pregnancy is regarding dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are safe during pregnancy. The amount of radiation of dental x-rays is extremely low. Even with the low radiation exposure your dentist will provide a lead apron to further protect the mother and developing baby from any preventable exposure.
Local anesthetics have been proven to be safe during pregnancy. A research article in 2015 was released in the Journal of the American Dental Association regarding anesthetics and pregnancy. The result of the study shows there is no difference in the health of the mom or baby for women who underwent dental procedures with local anesthetics vs women who didn’t have dental work during pregnancy.
So if you are pregnant call to make your appointment today at Thrive Family Dental to make sure everything is looking good.