Pregnancy is one of the most crucial times to take care of woman’s health, where most of the care and health is dedicated to the developing fetus. Accd. to American Dental Association, this is the period when women don’t take proper care of their teeth and gums, which can lead to a lot of problems to the dental health, which complicates the general health and pregnancy too. Here are a few tips, facts and things to remember during pregnancy.
Most of the dental treatments that include extractions, fillings, root canal treatments or placement of crowns etc. are to be carried out during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy (i.e. the 4th-6th month), and only if they can’t be avoided. If the 3rd trimester is entered, then its best to delay any treatment procedure till the birth of the child, and get it done later. Sitting on your back for long time is not possible during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, so any treatment procedure has to be canceled. Also, the stress sometimes due to bigger treatment procedures can affect pregnancy a lot.
Maximum try is to reduce the exposure of the child to any treatment motions, and any medication that may cross the placental barrier. One of the examples is tetracycline drugs. If these drugs are taken during the pregnancy period, it affects the child’s teeth by forming tetracycline stains.
Taking X-rays during pregnancy, should be avoided as much as possible. The radiations are not only dangerous for the mother, but also the developing child in the 1st trimester. Although sometimes X-rays are needed compulsorily, to come to a proper diagnosis of the problem, care should be taken to reduce the exposure of the developing child to the radiations.
Effect of Pregnancy in mouths
During pregnancy, the blood flow increases by about 30-50% and the hormonal production is also high. The condition of Pregnancy Gingivitis is common and half of the total pregnant women experience it. In this, the gums appear glowing pink/red because of the higher circulation of blood, which can provide good nutrition and house for bacterial growth, and although good oral hygiene is tried to maintain, bleeding while brushing the teeth is common. Its also because of higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, that leads to sensitivity of gums.
The gingivitis that occurs in the gums, sometimes develop into mass or lump in the gum called as pyogenic granulomas, or “pregnancy tumors”, although its not any cancer/tumor. This also occurs sometimes, but regresses as child birth occurs.
Oral hygiene measures to be taken
Although your gums might bleed, although you might not be finding less time to take care of your teeth, you should be trying to brush twice daily and floss the teeth. Use a soft toothbrush, to avoid pressure on the gums, and don’t worry if your gums are bleeding. Give a scheduled visit to the dentist during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy to get your teeth cleaned professionally, by scaling procedures. Use a good ADA-approved toothpaste to brush your teeth, which contains fluorides so that adequate amount of fluorides are supplied to the child.
Flossing would help in keeping the gums healthy, and the areas between the teeth where plaque accumulation can lead to tooth decay.
While at the dental office
When you visit a dentist during your pregnancy phase, you should let them know what drugs you have been using since the start of your pregnancy period, so that the appropriate medication is given, if required, after any simple dental treatment procedure.
You feeling comfortable would reduce the stress on the developing baby. And when the anesthesia is given for any treatment, the lesser would be better to keep you comfortable. Higher amounts of anesthesia should be given only if required.
Antibiotic drugs like Penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin are safer drugs to be taken during pregnancy, if any infections occur. Avoid taking tetracycline, as already said they would cause stains to child’s baby teeth as well as the permanent teeth.
Avoiding a dental visit only because you are pregnant is not a good choice. Just oral problems can lead to many complications.
Women get pregnant usually at an age of around 20-24 and this is when the wisdom tooth eruption occurs, in a normal or abnormal position. So if there is a problem, then delaying the removal of the wisdom tooth should be best postponed to after the child birth.