During pregnancy females experience a range of changes to their bodies, hair and skin but what most people don’t realise is that oral health can be equally as affected. Due to the hormonal imbalance that occurs during pregnancy, any existing problems with your oral health can worsen. You become more prone to tooth decay, gingivitis and other dental issues not only because of hormones but also because of pregnancy cravings, which often include an increase in sugary foods.
Most people believe that dental procedures, including dental check-ups, should not be carried out during pregnancy because they are harmful or cause discomfort, this is simply not true. It is actually advised to keep up your regular dental check-ups to help prevent any dental problems. All dentists here at Skye Dental are aware of which procedures and medications are safe and not harmful to pregnant women and their babies.
Which dental procedures are safe?
Before any dental treatment is started, you must inform your dentist that you are pregnant! This helps your dentist find the best way to avoid any risks and keep you safe. During pregnancy the following procedures are safe to conduct on pregnant women; tooth extractions (best to do during second trimester), root canal treatment, teeth cleaning, cavity fillings (best to do during second trimester), crowns, x-rays (lead apron used to protect the baby) and anaesthetic.
Although all these procedures can be performed safely during pregnancy, most dentists will postpone them until after you’ve given birth to avoid any complications unless its for an emergency.
Avoid elective procedures such as teeth whitening and orthodontic treatment during pregnancy, these procedures take time and can cause unnecessary discomfort to your and your baby.
Common dental issues during pregnancy…
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums when you don’t brush your teeth properly, a film of bacteria called plaque forms on them. The build-up of plaque along your gum line causes your gums to become red, swollen and tender. Unfortunately, during pregnancy, the surge of hormones in your body makes you more susceptible to gingivitis. It is important to brush your teeth twice daily and spend an adequate amount of time on them. Flossing daily will help prevent build-up of plaque.
During pregnancy the protective layer on your teeth called enamel can be stripped away often causing sensitivity. The enamel can best ripped away by acidic chemicals that come up with morning sickness and vomiting. Do not brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. In addition to this, food cravings of sugary and sweet foods can leave sugar residue on the teeth. To prevent tooth sensitivity during pregnancy, as well as brushing and flossing regularly, avoid sweet and sugary foods and use antiseptic mouth rinse between meals.
Tooth decay is the result of negligence because decay occurs at a much later stage than gingivitis and sensitive tooth. The bacteria in plaque will easily strip down even more enamel and make a home for itself. This will result in tooth decay. Foods such as candies, chocolates, chips and soft drinks should be avoided during pregnancy as they can easily contribute to this.
If you want to know more about dental health and pregnancy, call us at Skye Dental on (07) 3823 1896 and our family-friendly dental professionals will help you. Make an appointment today to ensure your dental health without risking your safety as well as your baby’s.
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