Oral Health Topics To Help Keep Up Your Dental Health

Oral Health During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be an exciting time filled with many adjustments, especially to the body—dental health included!

While your body is undergoing changes to nourish your baby, some parts of your body may be vulnerable or susceptible to dental problems.

Oral Health Conditions Susceptible During Pregnancy

Pregnancy may increase your risk of oral health conditions such as:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Pregnancy epulis (pyogenic granuloma)
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth erosion

Though pregnancy is not a direct cause, changes in lifestyle that people who are pregnant undergo may increase their risk for certain oral health conditions. And what's more, hormone fluctuations, vomiting and sugar cravings don't help!

Not to worry though—knowing that the mouth and teeth are vulnerable during pregnancy, paying extra attention to the area will relieve the risk of developing dental issues. 

How To Maintain Oral Health During Pregnancy

You can help maintain excellent oral health by

  • Limiting the amount of sugar in your diet. 
  • Taking Vitamin D & Calcium supplements.
    • Vitamin D can be found in eggs, breads, some cereals and fatty fish such as salmon. Calcium can be found in milk and some nuts such as almonds.
  • Scheduling your regular dental cleanings with us.
  • Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing every day.
  • Seeking treatment if dental problems arise, so your smile is there to greet your bundle of joy.

Research On How Pregnancy Can Affect Oral Health And Vise Versa

Oral health has close ties to systemic health, and studies suggest that treatment of periodontitis and oral infections reduces risks of health complications associated with pregnancy.

Is It Safe To See The Dentist While Pregnant?

Please disclose your pregnancy to your oral healthcare provider so they can tailor your dental care to your needs. Patients may see an oral healthcare provider at any point during their pregnancy, and non-urgent procedures may be performed after the first trimester.

Dental x-rays, local anesthetics and antibiotics such as amoxicillin and penicillin are safe during pregnancy, but if you need other medications, your oral healthcare provider may recommend a consultation with your obstetrician. Your dentist will take all necessary precautions to protect you and your baby.

Teeth Brushing Tips For Moms During And Right After Pregnancy

  • Avoid brushing your teeth after vomiting. Throwing up exposes your teeth to stomach acids and brushing immediately after may lead to loss of dental enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and then with a fluoride mouthwash. After an hour, brush your teeth as you normally would.
  • Take your time when brushing your teeth. Some pregnant patients might gag or vomit when brushing their teeth, but not brushing may lead to dental problems. If the taste of toothpaste is causing you to gag, try switching the brand.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. If your gums are sensitive or you have gum disease, a soft-bristled brush will still allow you to clean your teeth without causing irritation.

University Dental Center offers services in comprehensive, urgent and specialty dental care. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at ?(708) 361-8117 or visit our Make An Appointment page.

References:
https://www.ada.org/en/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/pregnancy
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-and-teeth
https://www.marchofdimes.org/find-support/topics/pregnancy/dental-health-during-pregnancy