Are you pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 things you should know about how pregnancy can affect your oral health.
1. You Can Still Get Dental Treatment During Pregnancy
If you're in pain during pregnancy, don't worry! Your dentist will still perform emergency dental work during the pregnancy to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
2. Some Procedures Should Be Avoided
While you can still get some treatment during pregnancy, you most likely won't be offered treatment involving X-rays such as orthodontic work. This is because babies shouldn't be exposed to radiation.
3. Pregnancy May Cause Teeth Pain
Your teeth might feel more sensitive during pregnancy due to hormone changes. What's more, morning sickness can damage your tooth enamel. Finally, if you're eating more sugary foods, you're more prone to sensitivity and plaque buildup.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and book a checkup if you're experiencing some tooth pain.
4. Pregnancy Affects Your Gums
Pregnancy can cause gum irritation and swelling, particularly in the second trimester. Gum irritation can progress to gum disease or gingivitis, which may cause tooth loss if left untreated.
Always see your dentist if your gums become really uncomfortable or if you develop any of these symptoms:
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Painful chewing
- Teeth sensitivity
- Receding gums
- Bleeding, swelling, or redness around the gums
There's a tentative link between gum disease and low birth weight — don't hesitate to ask your dentist if you're concerned.
5. You Should Schedule an Extra Checkup
Sure, you should always see a dentist for a checkup every 6 months or so. But if you plan on getting pregnant or you've just found out that you're pregnant, you should schedule an extra checkup sooner rather than later. Since X-rays and other procedures aren't recommended during pregnancy, it's important that you get essential dental work done now.
Oral Health Tips
To reduce your risk of developing gum disease or tooth decay, you should:
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Floss once per day.
- Eat less sugar.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
Once your baby is around 2 years old, you can schedule their first dental appointment.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy and Beyond
We know you'll be busy once your baby arrives, but it's vital that you still have regular dental checkups. If you haven't had a checkup for a while, contact us now to arrange an appointment and give yourself one less thing to worry about!