Don’t Skip the Dentist During Pregnancy

by | Children's Dentistry, Treatments |

Following a consistent Oral Health care routine is especially important for Pregnant women for several reasons.

Pregnancy changes the Hormones in the body that put pregnant women at increased risk for Periodontal Disease, which is the most severe form of Gum Disease.  This is why pregnant women, or women who are considering pregnancy, should see a Dentist for regular checkups to catch any potential Oral care problems before they become severe.

For women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant: Tell your Dental professional so you can avoid unnecessary X-rays and so that you can be as well protected as possible if Dental x-rays are essential. But a regular Dental checkup and cleaning is safe during pregnancy. In fact, regular Dental checkups are recommended in order to help manage Plaque buildup and to identify and treat mild cases of Tooth Decay or Gingivitis before they become severe.

Do you have to pay for dental treatment whilst being Pregnant?

Dental care is free from the time your pregnancy is confirmed right through to your child’s first birthday. This means that you don’t have to worry about the cost of any Dental treatment you may need. To get this free care, you will need to apply for your Maternity exemption certificate, so ask your Doctor, Midwife or health visitor for the right form.

Tell your Dentist that you’re pregnant so that if you need treatment, he can decide on the best type for you. Although there is no evidence that Mercury Amalgam Fillings are a health risk, these are not recommended during pregnancy, just in case. Your Dentist can suggest alternative Fillings if you need them.

Before You Get Pregnant

Try to make a dental appointment before getting pregnant. That way, your teeth can be professionally cleaned, gum tissue can be carefully examined, and any oral health problems can be treated in advance of your pregnancy.

 Is it Safe to have your Teeth Cleaned whilst being Pregnant?

Not only is it safe to get your teeth cleaned during pregnancy, it’s highly recommended. Recent studies suggest an association between severe gum disease and preterm labor, and regular trips to the dentist can help you avoid this risk.

How Pregnancy Affects Your Dental Health

Problems that women may experience with their Teeth and Mouth during pregnancy include:

  • Pregnancy gingivitis. Increased levels of the Hormone Progesterone can result in Gingivitis, an Inflammation of the Gums. This, along with pregnancy-related changes in your Immune system, can cause your Gums to become red and Swollen, and you may experience Bleeding when you Brush or Floss your Teeth. Symptoms of pregnancy Gingivitis usually go away after the baby is born.
  • Periodontal Disease. Some pregnant women experience a more serious Dental condition, called Periodontal, or Gum Disease. Periodontal Disease occurs when a bacterial Infection develops in pockets below the Gum line, which can damage the Fibers that hold your Teeth in place. Periodontal Disease can also affect the health of the baby, since women with Periodontal Disease are at higher risk of having babies early and with lower birth weights.
  • Pregnancy Granuloma. A pregnancy Granuloma is a red growth that usually appears along the upper line of your Gums. This Nodular growth Bleeds easily and sometimes crusts over. While these growths are not dangerous, they can be uncomfortable and affect the way you speak and eat. Pregnancy Granulomas usually occur in the second trimester and affect 2 to 10 percent of pregnant women. They usually go away after the baby is born.
  • Dry Mouth. Many pregnant women experience dryness in their Mouth caused by a decrease in Saliva, which can be brought on by Hormonal changes. Dry Mouth can increase the risk of many Dental problems. Chewing sugarless Gum can help.
  • Erosion of Tooth Enamel. Vomiting due to morning sickness can lead to erosion of the enamel on the back of your front Teeth. This is more likely to occur with frequent vomiting over a long period of time.

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About the author Dr Rik Trivedi

Dr Rik Trivedi is the Principal dentist at Parrock Dental & Implant Centres. He has a keen interest in Cosmetic Smile Dentistry and braces, Dental implants, Facial Aesthetics, Prevention and is very experienced in the design and placement of Cerec Same Day Crown technology.