Dentistry is one of many health issues you must pay careful attention to while you are pregnant. During pregnancy, the hormonal changes in your body can leave you more vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. Diligent oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist can help you protect your teeth as well as your overall health and that of your baby while you are pregnant.
Special Concerns During Pregnancy
While you are pregnant, the hormones that help your body adjust to carrying a child produce numerous changes in your body. These changes can lead to various dental issues including: [pullquote]During pregnancy, the hormonal changes in your body can leave you more vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. [/pullquote]
- Increased gum sensitivity
- Greater risk of tooth decay
- Greater risk of gum disease
- Gums are more likely to bleed while brushing
These issues arise because pregnancy hormones affect all the connective tissues in your body so they can stretch more easily to accommodate your growing baby. This includes your gums, which become more sensitive. The acid levels in your mouth also tend to increase, leading to a greater risk of tooth decay.
Because of these special concerns, it is important to visit your dentist regularly during your pregnancy. Also be sure to brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Visiting the Dentist During Pregnancy
If you see the dentist early in your pregnancy, it’s important to let your dentist know that you are pregnant. Some procedures, though they are important to dentistry, should be avoided during this time to protect your growing baby. This includes X-rays and fluoride treatments.
Since X-rays use a low dose of radiation to produce their images, you should avoid them whenever possible during pregnancy. The exposure to the radiation is very small and will not affect you, but could be enough to affect your rapidly growing baby.
Exposure to excess amounts of fluoride during pregnancy causes permanent discoloration of the teeth. If you are due for a fluoride treatment, you should consult with your dentist about how it could affect your baby.
Schedule an insightful consultation with the office of Nicholas Kemp Dentistry and learn how we take special precaution in treating our pregnant patients.