Pregnancy can be the most blissful period in a woman’s life. However, many women struggle with several health issues, such as morning sickness, swollen feet, headaches, dizziness, high blood pressure, and periodontal disease. Though dental problems are not so common during pregnancy, they are not rare either. Oral care is considered an essential aspect of prenatal care, just like exercising, eating a nutritious diet, and staying stress-free.
If you are expecting or planning to for a baby, you need to understand the dental issues that may occur during pregnancy. Plus, the ways to prevent or get treatment. Let’s begin with understanding the basics of dental health.
Dental health, which is also called oral health, refers to the overall health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Your digestion begins in the mouth; thus, it is an integral part of your overall health. When you are pregnant, you are more at risk of developing dental problems. Moreover, taking proper care of your mouth, teeth, and gums can help you have a successful pregnancy and healthy baby.
Pregnancy hormones and lifestyle changes can affect your teeth and gums. Below are the different reasons that may put your oral health at risk during pregnancy:
Gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease, is noticed in 60% to 75% of pregnant women. The condition makes gums red and swollen from inflammation, and the reason can be fluctuating hormones during pregnancy. If gingivitis is not treated early, it may severely infect the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. The deterioration of the supporting bones eventually makes teeth lose and require extraction. Periodontitis is also associated with unfavorable pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and low birth weight. However, it is still unclear how periodontitis could contribute to worse pregnancy outcomes.
Women with many cavity-causing bacteria in their mouths before and after giving birth run the risk of passing these germs to their unborn child’s mouth. Frequent snacking of sugary treats can cause early exposure to these bacteria and can cause cavities in young children who may later require substantial dental treatment.
Pregnancy tumors in the mouth are an inflammatory reaction to a local irritation (plaque and food particles). Tumors are rare and occur in up to 10% of pregnant women, especially those who have pregnancy gingivitis.
Tumors are large lumps with deep red pinpoint markings on gum tissues near the upper gum line. The lump can bleed and form a crust and making eating and speaking difficult. They usually occur in the second trimester. Pregnancy tumors are also known as granuloma of pregnancy, pyogenic granuloma, lobular capillary hemangioma, and pregnancy epulis.
Though these red lumps usually disappear after the child’s birth, some may interfere with your eating. For such cases, your ob-gyn or dentist may advise you to remove them. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, and only pregnancy-safe drugs are used.
While you are pregnant, you must take proper care of your teeth and gums. Hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy increase the chance of gum disease, which in turn may impact your unborn child’s health.
You can keep your oral health in good shape before, during, and after pregnancy by following the advice listed below.
We are a multispecialty clinic with a specialized department for several medical streams. The fully-equipped dental and ob-gyn clinic works in full harmony and can help us detect and treat dental problems in time. Moreover, we also have physiotherapy and a general medicine department, so our pregnant patients get complete care.
Call your dentist or ob-gyn if you experience any indications or symptoms of dental issues. Symptoms such as sore throat or dizziness can indicate tooth decay, and it may not be visible to others but felt by you. Regular dental checkup during pregnancy is also essential. Most ob-gyn clinics offer dental checkups at their partner’s clinic. Do not avoid it as a marketing gimmick. Pregnancy dental problems usually go away after childbirth, but waiting for problems to get worse is not advisable. It affects not only your oral health but also of your unborn child.