A visit to the dentist when pregnant is important, just to make sure everything is going okay and there are no issues which may have larger health consequences, for mother or child.
Pregnancy changes everything about your life, especially your body.
A woman’s body goes through so much in such a short time that it affects every aspect of their health, and oral health is no exception.
Oral health issues when pregnant
There are a few dental problems which only affect pregnant women due to their unique circumstances.
With the rapid hormonal changes that take place during a pregnancy, it’s not surprising that there are some side-effects.
Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition some women experience, resulting in a greater chance of their gums becoming inflamed or infected.
Not only can this be uncomfortable, but if left untreated it can lead to more serious problems. In fact, some experts believe this may be linked to premature labour, babies born with a low birth weight, and pre-eclampsia, so for this reason alone, it makes good sense to visit your dentist when pregnant.
Hormonal changes can also bring about pregnancy tumours which sometimes appear between the teeth. They may sound scary, but they’re harmless and once the baby is born, these little lumps will disappear on their own.
If a woman is unfortunate enough to suffer from morning sickness, then her teeth are in real danger.
The constant vomiting is very hard on the oesophagus, mouth, and teeth, with the acid from your stomach burning its way up each time you retch.
That acid is incredibly potent, and strong enough to eat away the enamel covering your teeth.
If morning sickness is a problem, then brushing immediately afterwards is essential to mitigate the damage.
Pregnant women may occasionally get food cravings. Unfortunately, these cravings are usually for things that aren’t particularly nutritious, with only 10% of women craving fruits and vegetables.
Cravings are usually sweet, spicy, salty, or occasionally sour things, and are satisfied with junk food, which is filled with empty calories.
The results are usually bad for our teeth, opening the door to more cavities.
Visiting the dentist when pregnant
The first 12 weeks of a pregnancy is also the most precarious, so a visit to the dentist when pregnant should be left until the second trimester.
If you do decide to go to your dentist during your first trimester, make sure you let them know you are pregnant and if possible, have only a check-up and clean.
Unless you have a dental emergency, postpone any major dental work until after the first 12 weeks as the baby’s major organs are still developing.
What dental treatment you should avoid when pregnant
Dental X-rays should be harmless to any patient and their unborn child, but most dentists will avoid them if possible, just for peace of mind.
If an X-ray is needed, your dentist will talk it over with you beforehand, explaining exactly what happens during the procedure.
There isn’t enough research behind teeth-whitening treatments and pregnancy to confirm whether or not they are safe, so for that reason, they should be avoided until after birth.
Why you shouldn’t put it off
Your oral health is just still a part of your overall health and shouldn’t be neglected.
If you’re planning on getting pregnant, then have a check-up beforehand; this will allow you a good six months before your next one, fitting in well with your pregnancy.
Visiting the dentist too early isn’t recommended, while leaving it too late isn’t the best option either.
As you get closer to your due date, you’ll get bigger, and the dentist’s chair will be uncomfortable. If you’re not great visiting the dentist at the best of times, this extra anxiety can be stressful for both you and the baby.
The second trimester is the best time to visit the dentist while pregnant, and our team of highly trained doctors and empathetic, dedicated staff, aim to make sure your visit with us is as stress-free as possible, resulting in the very best in dental care available in Sydney.
If you have any questions about visiting the dentist while pregnant, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our friendly and professional staff want you to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible during your visit.