Pregnancy and Your Dental Health
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21 years experience
Pregnancy may bring a glow to your face, but can affect your dental health quite adversely. Thus it is important to pay attention to your dental care routine and visit your dentist regularly for checkups. Most of the changes in your dental health are due to hormonal surges that occur during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy and plaque buildup: Pregnancy can aggravate gum diseases like gingivitis. This is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth and is characterized by red, swollen and bleeding gums. Pregnancy gingivitis affects of majority of pregnant women. If left untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition known as periodontitis. The swelling of gums can also trigger the development of pregnancy tumours and non-cancerous growths. These tumours will usually subside on their own after delivery. However, if they interfere with eating or your dental care routine, your dentist may advise you to get it removed. A link has also been suggested between gingivitis and the delivery of premature babies by triggering the production of prostaglandins that induce an early delivery.
- What to keep in mind while visiting the dentist: Regular dental checkups are as important as your gynecological checkups. Be open with your dentist and let him know the status of your pregnancy. Dental visits are recommended in the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy. At your visit, the dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and suggest an oral care routine. Getting your teeth regularly cleaned can prevent the buildup of plaque and lower your chances of suffering from gingivitis. Regular fillings and non emergency procedures can be performed during pregnancy. However, the best time to undergo any dental procedure if you are pregnant is between the 4th and 6th month. Avoid X-rays unless in cases of emergencies when pregnant. If you need to take any form of medication or need to put under anesthesia, consult your gynecologist about the procedure. Wherever possible, try and postpone dental treatment till after delivery.
- Brushing while pregnant: Along with brushing your teeth regularly, it is also important to use the right toothpaste when pregnant. Choose fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes for your daily routine. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash can also help curb morning sickness and erase its distaste from your mouth. Flossing can also help keep your teeth healthy. Along with this, include plenty of vitamin C and B12 in your diet to prevent dental problems.
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