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Why pregnant women must visit a dentist

November 06, 2019 13:00 IST

The condition of your gums has a close possibility of directly affecting the health of your baby-to-be and is prone to preterm birth, says Dr Karishma Jaradi.

 Why pregnant women must visit a dentist

Image published for representational purposes only. Photograph: Kind courtesy Pixabay.com

Good oral hygiene is unquestionably a part of upholding a healthy lifestyle for everyone.

Yet, many expectant mothers have queries about whether dental care during pregnancy is safe.

It is totally reasonable that moms-to-be want to do everything right for their bundle of joy.

Dental care during pregnancy is just as important for young mothers.

In between journeys to the doctor and hospital visits, don’t let visiting your dental expert fall off your pregnancy to-do list before your baby comes.

Getting an oral check-up done during pregnancy is safe and vital for your dental health.

Not only can you keep a tab of processes like cavity fillings before your little one is born, but your dental expert can also help you with any pregnancy-related oral symptoms you might be undergoing.

Researches and studies conducted have revealed that expecting females who ignore their oral hygiene are more likely to develop gum diseases. The condition of your gums has a close possibility of directly affecting the health of your baby-to-be and is prone to preterm birth.

During pregnancy the body releases certain hormones to activate labour; these are very alike to those released in retort to an infection.

Pregnancy is the perfect time to take additional care of your enamels and gums because your dental health directly affects the unborn child’s general and oral health.

Even a simple mouth infection can put your child’s health in jeopardy.

In fact, expecting mothers with gum infections are six times more probable of delivering their children earlier than women with fit gums.

Developing a condition of gum inflammation called gingivitis caused due to alterations in hormones is also very common during pregnancy.

Why is dental care vital during gestation?

Hormone fluctuations and certain medications taking during pregnancy can upsurge the peril of periodontal ailments and mouth dryness.

Pregnant women must brush and floss twice on a daily basis.

Doing this will help to keep unwanted cavities at the bay post the consumption of craved sweets and will automatically condense the peril of gum erosion.

Also, nausea related to severe morning sickness is capable of causing acid erosion of the enamels and, seldom, pregnancy hormones can lead to benign growths in the mouth that are not essentially hazardous but can certainly be annoying.

Since the baby's teeth start developing during the 3rd to 6th month of pregnancy, it is imperative that expecting mothers must monitor their diets to upkeep a healthy oral condition even in their babies.

Owing to the strong gag reflex, pregnant patients might face a hard time brushing. The only resort is to make use of a smaller toothbrush to make brushing easier.

Gum Snags

The hormones supplementary with gestation have the ability to make some women vulnerable to gum complications including:

Gingivitis (gum swelling)

This is more probable to occur during the second trimester. Indications include puffiness of the gums along with bleeding, chiefly while you brush and floss between teeth.

Undiagnosed periodontal illness

Pregnancy can further deteriorate this long-lasting gum infection, which is resulted by untreated gingivitis and can further contribute to the loss of a tooth.

Pregnancy epulis or pyogenic granuloma

This is a localiSed expansion of the gum, which is prone to bleeding easily. This may need additional professional clean-up.

During pregnancy, the gum issues that occur are not due to an augmented plaque but instead are a worse response to plaque as a result of amplified hormone levels.

If you have gum problems while you are expecting, it is of chief importance to get your gums checked by an oral expert post you have given birth.

While most types of gum complications caused by pregnancy hormones resolve after birth, a small number of women may have an advanced or a deeper level of gum disease that will require treatment to heal.

Pregnancy tumours

In some women, tissue overgrowths termed as 'pregnancy tumours' start appearing on the gums, most often during the 2nd trimester.

It is an inflammation that happens most often in between enamels.

They may be due to additional plaque formation and bleed easily and have a red, raw-looking raspberry-like appearance. This will typically vanish after your baby is born.

Teeth clean-up during the second trimester

Dental treatment done during all three trimesters are absolutely safe.

However, the 2nd trimester is the safest trimester in which to get dental treatment.

Even the last trimester is a safe period, but the patient might experience discomfort laying back for an extended time period.

If a major oral work or elective orthodontics is scheduled, patients might wish to consider waiting until post-delivery.

Likewise, it is also prudent for pregnant women to get free from plaque, which is related to premature delivery and low birth-weight.

While regularly visiting a dentist is of prime importance, an effective way of getting rid of the dental plaque is to develop the habit of regularly flossing at least twice a day.

Dental X-Rays 

Yes, it is absolutely safe to get a dental X-ray done while you are pregnant.

Although radiation from dental X-rays is tremendously low, your skilled dental expert or hygienist will cover you with a leaded apron that diminishes direct contact of the rays to the abdomen.

Tips to control your diet

Curb sweet cravings

Some expectant mothers are likely to experience unusual food cravings and food aversions while they are pregnant.

A steady craving for sugar-rich snacks may surge your peril for developing tooth decay. Hence mommies-to-be must try and munch on low-sugar edibles instead.

If nothing but sweetness will please your craving, try to opt for healthier options such as fresh fruits.

After you finish eating, you must rinse your mouth properly with water or brush your teeth post the sweet indulgence.

Upturn your calcium intake during pregnancy

You are required to upsurge your daily amount of calcium during your pregnancy.

Adequate calcium will guard your bone mass and will also meet the nutritive requirements of your growing baby.

Some great calcium sources to incorporate are milk, cheese and unsweetened yogurt to name a few.

Escalate your vitamin D intake during pregnancy 

Vitamin D will help the body to use calcium.

Good sources of Vitamin D include eggs, cheese and fatty fish like salmon to name a few.

Expert tips for your dental health

  • Make it a point to brush and floss your teeth post meals
  • It’s common for pregnant women to experience bleeding and swelling in gums while brushing and flossing teeth. These usually get cleared after the baby is born, in case the problem persists you can always check with your dentist.
  • Evade binging on sweet and gummy foods that are high in refined sugars.
  • In case you have morning sickness, rinse your teeth carefully after you throw up. This will decrease the danger of cavities.

A good dental care is possibly the best thing you can gift your bundle of joy who is on its way.

Dr Karishma Jaradi is aesthetic dentist at Dentzz Dental. 

Dr Karishma Jaradi
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