It's important to maintain your regular dental checkup schedule during pregnancy. Recent research has shown that women with gum disease are seven times more likely to deliver a premature baby. Take care of any gum problems you may experience during pregnancy.
If you need dental treatment, advise your dentist you are pregnant before anything is done. Some dental anesthetics might harm your baby. In most cases, a pregnant woman should not have a general anesthetic.
Pregnancy can cause sore, bleeding, swollen gums because of hormonal changes. Your gums are more susceptible to irritation and may bleed more often when you floss or brush your teeth. Ask your dentist to check for this. Your gums usually clear up by themselves after the baby is bom. Talk to your dentist if the problem becomes too uncomfortable.
You may notice a small nodule on your gum. It is called a pregnancy tumor or pyogenic granuloma and may bleed when you brush your teeth or eat. This condition usually clears up after pregnancy, but don't ignore it if it causes you problems.
I usually advise a pregnant woman to wait until after the baby is born to have any elective dental procedure, such as dental bonding. However, if you have a dental trauma, such as an abscess or a broken tooth, take care of it immediately!
If your dentist wants to take an X-ray of your teeth, be sure you tell him or her you're pregnant before you begin your exam. In most cases, avoid dental X-rays while you are pregnant. If there is a particular need for them, discuss the problem with your dentist and your doctor before proceeding any further. If you must have an X-ray, shield your pregnancy with a lead apron.
Before a procedure such as a root canal, your dentist may want you to take an antibiotic medication to protect you from infection. Discuss this situation with both your dentist and your doctor ahead of time. They will be able to decide the best course of action. Taking care of this kind of problem is important—an infection you have might possibly harm your baby. Together, your dentist and doctor will plan the safest course of treatment for you and your baby.
Good Dental Hygiene
Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth in good shape.
|Brush your teeth after every meal.|
|Floss teeth at least once a day.|
|Have at least one checkup and dental cleaning during pregnancy, preferably after the first trimester.|
|Watch your diet. Eat foods rich in vitamin С (good for gums) and calcium (to keep teeth healthy).|
|If you have morning sickness, rinse teeth thoroughly after vomiting.|