June 14, 2021
Many gynecologists do not guide their patients about oral health care during pregnancy.
Hence women have no idea how important dental health is during this period and after delivery.
There are many myths associated with the safety of dental treatments while you are carrying a baby.
Consequently, pregnant women receive less dental care compared to before. However, it is a very vital part of prenatal dental hygiene.
This period makes mothers more prone to a wide range of oral health conditions that could be detrimental to their own health & the unborn child.
At Kirkland Premier Dentistry we endeavor to emphasize the value and safety of routine oral care for pregnant women. In fact, it is also important during breastfeeding and menopausal periods.
Why Is More Dental Care Needed During Pregnancy?
The general observation is that there is tooth decay during pregnancy. Some people believe that it is due to the extraction of calcium for the baby’s bone growth needs.
However, there is no scientific basis for that Dentists explain it as a consequence of vomiting, nausea, and neglect of oral hygiene.
More dental care is needed due to hormonal & food habit changes. Hence the following factors deteriorate oral health:
Change in Food Habits
During the first trimester, some would-be mothers develop an inclination towards certain foods such as sweet or sour foods, especially carbohydrates, & tooth brushing may be neglected as well after eating those foods after they eat these kinds of food.
Tendency to Bleed
Pregnant women have tender gums due to changes in the levels of the hormones estrogen & progesterone.
As a result, they avoid brushing their teeth which increases plaque and bacteria. Hence, the mouth needs more care during pregnancy.
Most mothers experience morning sickness which makes the oral environment acidic. If enough attention is not given to brushing & rinsing after vomiting, the stomach acid attacks tooth enamel.
Saliva flow declines during pregnancy. Saliva is a protective layer in the mouth that protects teeth and gums.
It also contributes to maintaining the ph. A decrease in saliva means a risk of caries.
Mothers tend to neglect their own dental health care while they are dealing with pregnancy or childbearing issues. This, in turn, induces a deterioration of oral health.
The Changing Hormone Levels
Pregnancy directly affects gums. Gums may become red & swollen from inflammation that gets aggravated by alterations in hormone levels during the gestation period.
If not addressed, gingivitis causes mouth dryness & affects the bones that support the teeth. They become loose and may have to be extracted.
For these reasons, it is important to give more consideration to oral health care during this period.
Also Read: Oral Healthcare in Children
How Should Pregnant Women Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease?
The safest way of preventing tooth decay and gingivitis in pregnancy is to keep your teeth & gums clean.
- Adequate dental care should be taken by brushing and flossing at least twice a day.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste twice a day & floss once a day to keep a pregnant woman’s teeth & gums healthy. Avoid foods that are high in sugar.
- A combination of personal and in-office treatment during pregnancy is very important, it plays a major role in improving oral health.
- Undergo a complete oral examination before gestation to achieve optimal mouth health and establish a habit. There is a direct relationship between hormonal changes & plaque accumulation during pregnancy. It makes the oral fauna very sensitive.
- Gargle regularly with antiseptic mouthwashes or warm saline. It protects the gums and strengthens the teeth.
If regular care is taken there is no reason for you to lose your teeth during childbirth.
In case of tooth decay is present, contact the dentist near you in Kirkland Premier Dentistry.
At Kirkland Premier Dentistry Dr. Gaurav Sharma has 400+ hours of Continuing education from the prestigious AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry) He applies for the latest research & advances in dentistry to provide the best dental care to patients.
Some Tips Regarding Vomiting While Brushing Teeth
Most women feel nauseous while brushing when they are carrying.
- If you have morning sickness, brush at night.
- Use a toothbrush that has a small soft head as the kiddy brush.
- Go slow when you brush.
- keep your eyes shut and concentrate on your breathing.
- Listening to music while at it
- If the toothpaste gives you nausea, switch it to a herbal one.
- Brush only with water and rinse with fluoride mouthwash.
During pregnancy, oral and dental care requires more attention. Although it is important for everybody, an expectant mother needs to protect herself and the health of the fetus.
Remember, neglecting dental health will not only cause problems such as tooth decay but may also cause problems such as premature birth & low birth weight in infants.
Also, take care of the calcium and vitamin D intake for the baby’s teeth to be strong.