Maintaining your health during pregnancy is of the utmost importance for you and your baby. That means taking care of your smile as much as the rest of your body, and given the hormone fluctuations that can affect oral health during pregnancy, it is recommended that expectant mothers visit their Boston dentist at least once. Preventive dental care is not only safe when you are expecting — it’s vital!
How Pregnancy Affects Oral Health
Pregnancy causes hormones to rise, which can have a significant effect throughout the body. In the mouth, hormone fluctuations can lead to bleeding gums, inflammation, and tenderness that indicates the condition we refer to as “pregnancy gingivitis.” This is usually temporary and mild, but it should be monitored by your dentist to prevent it from becoming full-blown gum disease, which has been linked to low birth weight and premature labor in pregnant women.
In addition to its potential effect on periodontal health, being pregnant can also put you at a higher risk of developing cavities or damage to the tooth enamel. This is because your eating habits will change when you are expecting — and if you crave lots of sweets, that can spell trouble for the teeth if you do not also maintain excellent oral hygiene. Morning sickness can expose your teeth to acids that cause the tooth enamel to weaken.
What to Expect During a Dental Appointment
With all of this in mind, it is clear that a visit to the dentist is a necessity during the first trimester of your pregnancy. During this appointment, your dentist will take extra care to ensure the safety of you and your baby. That usually means avoiding any X-rays unless they are absolutely necessary — in which case you will be covered with a heavy-duty protective layer.
Cleaning the teeth free of plaque and tartar build up will reduce the risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis. If you already show the signs of this condition, your dentist or hygienist can offer tips for oral hygiene at home to keep it from worsening.
It is still totally safe to provide restorative treatments like a filling or gum disease therapy as needed. If, however, you require something more significant like dental implants or another oral procedure, your dentist will likely recommend waiting until after pregnancy to have that taken care of.
So there you have it! It’s not only perfectly safe to visit the dentist when pregnant, but skipping this appointment could have serious ramifications for your and baby’s health. Don’t hesitate to visit your trusted family dentist during your first or second trimester.
Meet the Practice
Kraft & Schrott Dental Associates are the dentists Boston friends and families trust with their smiles. If you or a loved one are expecting and you are looking for high-quality dental care from a true expert, we invite you to get in touch by calling the office at 617-227-4924.