Your body goes through a lot when you’re pregnant. Along with that mommy-to-be glow comes shifting hormones that produce all kinds of changes—including changes to your teeth and gums.
Poor dental habits during pregnancy have been associated with complications like premature delivery, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. The good news is that a little extra attention to your oral health can go a long way toward protecting you and your baby. Make sure to stick to the following tips for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Keep Up Your Appointments
The idea that going to the dentist may be risky for developing babies is just an old wives’ tale. Regular checkups and most dental procedures are completely safe, and you don’t want to neglect the health of your teeth and gums during this especially important time.
Share Your Good News… With Your Dental Office
Be sure to tell the office how far along you are when you make your appointment, and to inform your dentist about any resulting changes in your medication. In fact, let your dentist know even if you only think you might be pregnant so they can share helpful and specific advice on prenatal oral care.
What about Dental Procedures?
Procedures like cavity fillings, crowns, and even root canals are generally safe. They’re also critical for preventing infection, which can induce early labor. That said, your dentist may recommend postponing particular procedures if your pregnancy is high risk or if you have certain medical conditions. And anything cosmetic, like whitening or straightening, should wait until after pregnancy.
Be Aware of These Pregnancy-Related Conditions
- Gingivitis. Up to half of women will develop pregnancy gingivitis. Changing hormones can make your gums more susceptible to plaque, causing them to be sensitive and swollen and could possibly even make them bleed. If this happens, your dentist may recommend extra professional cleanings to keep gingivitis under control. Rest assured, pregnancy gingivitis usually goes away on its own after the baby comes.
- Loose or Shifting Teeth. High levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen can affect the bones and tissues that keep your teeth in place. Loose teeth due to pregnancy and not associated with gum disease are temporary and will also go away after birth.
- Higher Risk of Tooth Decay. If you’re eating more sugary foods than usual, you may have an increased risk of cavities. Morning sickness can also increase the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to. Take extra precaution with your brushing and flossing to guard against cavities.
- Pregnancy Tumors. These are small red growths on the gums during pregnancy. There is no reason to be anxious—they’re not malignant, but they may be sensitive. They’ll generally go away after you deliver your child, but if they’re painful, talk with your dentist about having them removed.
If you’re expecting, make your dental health a priority for your sake and your baby’s.
Set up an appointment to talk over these or any other concerns with your dentist by calling Caputo Dental in Naperville today.