Many women, when they go through pregnancy, experience heightened awareness towards their general health and wellbeing. This is because the pregnancy hormones make you sensitive to your immediate surroundings. So it’s no wonder that many of us worry about our teeth and gums and keeping them healthy when we are expecting a baby.
This is especially true because of all those stories we hear about gum disease affecting pregnancy. Several past studies have shown that a pregnant mother who suffers from gum disease is at higher risk of preterm birth, which basically means that the baby will come out before it is ready.
Then again there’s a nagging doubt in your head: if it’s not advisable to take prescription drugs or other types of medicine when you are pregnant, until absolutely necessary, is it ok to undergo dental procedures? What if you have a bad tooth that needs to be taken out? Will you be putting yourself and more importantly your baby in danger if you go ahead with it? These are just a few of the many questions that pregnant women ask themselves.
Preventive and correctional dental procedures are not only safe when you are expecting but are recommended by many dentists. Due to the presence of pregnancy hormones in the blood, your gums will be more sensitive and may even swell and bleed. Not all pregnant ladies experience this but if you do, you need to know that this type of condition is an invitation for bacteria to settle in the mouth. So you need to take very good care of your teeth and the gums by not skipping the brushing twice and flossing routine. A tender gum may also mean a higher chance of food getting lodged in between the teeth and between the teeth and the gum. So spend some extra time on your teeth making sure that you remove all food particles by brushing and flossing. Do your best with prevention early in pregnancy so as to avoid dental procedures such as tooth fillings and root canals in your third semester, which will be a big inconvenience.
If prevention didn’t help and you find yourself suffering from an infection, then you should get it treated right away. Cavity fillings and dental crowns can help to reduce the infection and to reduce the chances of another infection later on. The ideal period to get such procedures done, if you can afford to wait, would be the second trimester. That is the period when most pregnant women feel their best. The first trimester is difficult with fatigue and of course the nausea. During the third trimester you will find it uncomfortable to be propped up in a dentist’s chair for any period of time.
The only treatments you should definitely postpone until after the birth of your baby are the cosmetic procedures. They usually involve applying chemicals that may be harmful to the baby inside, even if absorbed by your body in minimal amounts. These include teeth whitening, by bleaching and by the laser method, and alignment of teeth by the use of dentist pregnancy fillings and dental braces. You should also know that dentists try to use the minimal amount of anesthesia needed for pregnant mothers as a safety precaution. But if you are uncomfortable, bring this to the attention of your dentist. For more pregnancy dental tips, see our post on Dental Care During Pregnancy.
If you are looking for a local dentist Tempe Arizona residents recommend Tempe Dental Care and their gentle dentistry. Call (480) 730-5000 to schedule an appointment or consultation today. Be sure to tell the staff if you have a dental emergency or dental pain, same day appointments are often available and we try to schedule emergency appointments as soon as possible.