Taking Care of Your Teeth During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the fetus and mother are connected in every aspect. Expectant mothers always need to be careful because what the mother eats and drinks and any pain (physical and emotional) the mother feels are carried over to the fetus. Due to this connection, many people think women who are pregnant must avoid getting any dental work and many expecting mothers will suppress any oral ailments they may be feeling.
The statement above is a myth. While it is true that an expecting mother has to change the dosage of the medication she receives during dental work, blindly postponing dental treatment is not a good idea. Neglecting dental treatment for tooth decay can be passed into the fetus, which means the child will have a higher chance of developing cavities. Due to this reason alone, it is recommended that expecting mothers consult with their doctors regularly.
When can pregnant women receive dental treatment?
The most suitable stage for dental work is from 4 to 6 months.
It is recommended that expecting mothers avoid getting any dental work done during the first three months of pregnancy because that is when the fetus’s organs are actively developing, so the chance of having a miscarriage becomes higher. From 4 to 6 months of pregnancy, it is possible to get cavities fixed and scaling done with local anesthesia in a small area. It is also recommended to avoid getting implants and taking anti-inflammatory medications during the second trimester. From 7 months until the end of the pregnancy, it is recommended to stay away from getting any dental work done because sitting with your head tilted back can dangerously lower your blood pressure.
Pregnant women need to watch out for gingivitis.
Pregnant women are more likely to get gestational gingivitis with swollen and bleeding gums. If an infection does occur, it can come with bad breath and discomfort when chewing food. It is imperative to treat the gingivitis before it gets worse and habitually flossing to get rid of leftover food particles and tartar/plaque can prevent this type of oral disease!
Tooth damage from morning sickness.
The gastric acid that flows back up the esophagus, after a bout of morning sickness, can erode your teeth. Brushing your teeth right after vomiting is detrimental to your oral health because even a slight irritation from the leftover stomach acid can damage teeth. It is recommended that you first gargle your mouth with water and wait 30 minutes before you brush your teeth. If the scent/taste of toothpaste is making your morning sickness worse, try using a toothpaste that is less fragrant or just brush your teeth with water.
Do you have to get your wisdom teeth extracted before pregnancy?
The wisdom teeth will not be a problem if they are growing upright, but if they are growing in a crooked direction, they can impact the teeth around it and cause cavities. There is a limit to how much medication a pregnant woman can take and how much anesthetic she can receive, so it would be best to get checked, if possible, before becoming pregnant and get any major dental procedures done before then.