SHOULD YOU SEEK ORAL HEALTH CARE DURING PREGNANCY?
Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Yes, Pregnancy can lead to many dental problems or vice versa.
Let's know about
How oral health effect pregnancy?
Due to bad oral health in pregnancy, pregnant women can experience premature delivery, low birth weight baby, babies who are born prematurely can have a risk of brain injury, and problems with their eyesight and hearing .It’s been suggested that up to 18 out of every 100 premature births could be linked to severe gum infection (periodontal disease).
How pregnancy effect oral health?
Gum ulcers, pregnancy gum diseases, loose teeth, mouth dryness, tooth decay and dental erosions can be seen during pregnancy. The changing hormone levels in pregnancy directly affect gum problems and indirectly tooth decay. Pregnant women undergo hormonal balance changes during pregnancy. Many body tissues undergo certain changes because higher levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy. In this period, excessive sensitivity to irritations occurs in the gum. In pregnancy, gingivitis epulis, commonly known as pregnancy tumors(lump or swelling like structure on gums), can be seen very often and that will heals spontaneously after birth. Surgical removal is recommended if they do not vanish spontaneously. but, there is no need for treatment during pregnancy.
Now lets dig deeply about it?
-Nausea and Vomiting are seen in 70% of pregnancies. Vomiting can affect oral hygiene negatively ,it produce constant acidic environment(due to gastric acid) that lead to decrease in ph (< 3 ) that will eventually lead to loss of tooth enamel(erosion).
-Gum infection and disease are seen during pregnancy, in pregnancy your gum bleed more readily due to the effect of pregnancy hormones (estrogen, progesterone) and that lead to avoid brushing your teeth. As a result, bacterial plaque increases and gums are become more sensitive to plaque due to changes in hormonal level, that will lead to gum infection.
-Increase craving for certain food specially sugary food which is reach in carbohydrate lead to tooth decay.
-Reduce salivary flow during pregnancy can lead to tooth decay too .
How to take care of your health during pregnancy?
Take Adequate nutrition, it is necessary for the mother to take 1200-1500 mg daily calcium for herself and her babies bones to be healthy. During pregnancy, you will need to increase the amount of calcium you eat or drink to protect your bones and the needs of your developing baby. For that you need to consume more calcium-rich foods such as milk and dairy products and green, leafy vegetables. Apart from it increase your vitamin D, It helps the body to utilize calcium. Small amounts of sun exposure can help to support vitamin D levels or take vitamin D supplement (prescribed by physician). Nutrition during pregnancy is very important for general health and oral health for both the mother and the baby.
How to take care of your oral health during pregnancy?
-You should seek dental care before, during, and after pregnancy . Ideally 2 times in 1st trimester,1 time in 2nd trimester and 1 time in beginning of 3rd trimester. you should seek for dental examination, teeth cleaning and feeling if necessary during this appointments to prevent any gum disease to achieve optimal oral health.
-Do proper tooth brushing with recommended fluorinated tooth paste twice a day and flossing .
-After vomiting try rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth or do thorough gargling with water.
Which treatment can be perform during pregnancy?
Teeth cleaning, extraction, local anesthesia, filling and root canal treatments can be perfume .however 2nd trimester is safest period to perfume dental treatment safely, in emergency in 1st and 3rd trimester root canals ,extraction, filling can be perform under guidance of professional.
Why we avoid treatment in first trimester?
dental treatment in the first trimester should be avoided. This period is a very sensitive period because it is the stage of organogenesis(organs of baby being form). Unnecessary interventions can lead to abortions.
And whey we avoid dental treatment in third trimester?
In the third trimester, it is not easy for the mother to take the necessary positions for the dental treatment and may become disturbed. The baby has grown considerably in the womb and the delivery is close. It should also be remembered that if a pregnant women, in the last trimester, sits for too long in the dental chair, it may cause vena cava inferior syndrome (supine hypotensive syndrome).
In emergency cases such as tooth and gum infection, existing infections can affect the baby’s health much more badly than effects of dental treatment. Therefore ,all pregnant lady should seek dental examination during pregnancy, apart from it dental x ray during pregnancy is also safe for mother and baby.