Pregnancy And Dental Health: Common Questions Answered

Discovering that you are pregnant is both exciting and overwhelming. After all, you are now required to eat healthy and practice a higher care for your body. You also have to make plans, buy furniture, and stock up on diapers.

In the early weeks of pregnancy, you will visit your primary physician and OB-GYN. During this time, you should also make a trip to your dentist. Why? Because pregnancy changes your body, and this includes your teeth.

When Should You Tell Your Dentist Your Pregnant?

Contrary to popular belief, you should tell your dentist as soon as possible that you are—or may be—pregnant. There are several dental procedures, such as x-rays and anesthesia, which are harmful to the developing baby.

When you visit your dentist, you should also mention whether you taking any specific medications. You should also bring up any medical advice your doctor or OB-GYN has given you regarding your health and pregnancy.

Are There Any Special Dental Considerations When Pregnant?

Yes. There are many special considerations for both you and your dentist when you are pregnant—which is why you should tell your dentist as soon as possible. During pregnancy, you may not be able to undergo specific treatments, such as x-rays, sedation, and major procedures. You may also be restricted from taking certain medications.

If you are pregnant and need dental work, your dentist will need to reschedule any major procedures until your second trimester—given you are healthy enough.

Are Pregnant Women More Prone to Oral Complications?

As you might expect, the answer is yes. Even if you have perfect oral hygiene—and history—pregnant women are more susceptible to oral health complications. Hormones are to blame, as pregnant women often having high—and frequently changing—levels of hormones.

Some common issues you may expect during pregnancy include gingivitis, dry mouth, and enamel erosion. If you notice any of these issues, be sure to tell your general dentist immediately, as some of these issues can be resolved with pregnancy-safe medications.

Can You Avoid Oral Problems During Pregnancy?

Yes. The good news is that you can avoid many oral health problems by taking preventive action during your pregnancy. To keep your mouth healthy and avoid issues, be sure you:

  • Brush and floss regularly, at least 3 times per day.
  • Rinse your mouth out with alcohol free mouthwash at least once per day.
  • Eat healthy meals and limit consumption of acidic, sugary, and starchy foods such as soda, white bread, candy, and citrus.

Although you should practice this regularly, it is more important that you do so when pregnant. As morning sickness, fluctuating hormones, and odd cravings can all take its toll on your body and teeth during pregnancy. Talk with dentists such as Thomas J Merten, DDS if you have more questions.