Phone (513) 251-5500
September 20th, 2018

The Biggest Pregnancy & Oral Health Questions, Answered

Category: cincinnati dentist

During pregnancy, your health can certainly be under the microscope as you experience so many things changing in your body. Sometimes women don’t realize all that’s happening in their mouth, as well, during this time.

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But taking care of your mouth and your teeth is critically important when you are pregnant. Here we answer some of the most common questions on oral health and pregnancy that women have: 

Question: I think I could be pregnant. When should I tell my dentist that I’m pregnant?

Answer: Even if your loved ones don’t yet know the news yet, be sure to let us know as soon as you believe you might be pregnant.

Many women can be at increased risk for oral conditions during pregnancy, so we want to be sure you have all you need to be as healthy as possible during your pregnancy. Second, and just as important, there are certain medications you should avoid while pregnant.

Knowing you are pregnant will help us to make the best decisions for your health and for the health of your baby.

pregnancy oral health dentist cincinnati ohioQuestion: Should I continue to see my dentist during my pregnancy?

Answer: Yes, absolutely! Oral exams and professional teeth cleaning are very important during your pregnancy. You will also have a chance to ask us questions or to bring up any concerns you have when you see us.

As mentioned, you also want to let us know that you are in fact pregnant. Notify us of any medications you have been taking, as well as supplements (1, 2, 3).

Question: I heard pregnant women should not be treated with tetracycline. Why is that?

Answer: Tetracycline can stain your baby’s developing teeth. Again, to avoid any teeth staining—or any other potential issues—you want to be sure to notify us that you are pregnant.

Question: How does my diet during pregnancy tie-in with my oral health?

Answer: Yes, nutrition plays a role in maintaining your oral health, and that’s especially during pregnancy. In an ideal world, you can stick to whole foods that are nutrient-dense, and avoid foods with added sugar.

If you find that you need more snacks than normal, know that this can increase your risk for tooth decay. Just aim to stay hydrated (with water whenever you can) and keep up your oral health habits during this time and brush and floss as regularly as possible (2, 3, 4).

Question: What should I do if I notice something out-of-the-norm with my dental health during my pregnancy?

Answer: Let us know immediately if you believe you are have any oral health issues or changes in your mouth. We want to be sure to address any issues as early as possible.

Question: Is it true that women are more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy?

Answer: It is true that you are at greater risk of developing gingivitis during your pregnancy. That’s why if you see signs of swelling or any abnormal tenderness, you should come in and see us.

The reason this can happen is partially because of the hormonal changes your body is going through. If and when your gums swell, this is what can result in what is sometimes called “pregnancy gingivitis.” If left untreated, dental disease can be harmful to your baby, and it can be harmful to you, too.

But don’t fret: if this happens to you, we may have you come in for more frequent teeth cleanings with us. There are also other ways to make sure you combat the plaque and tartar-build-up. Being proactive as possible goes a long way!

In the meantime, be sure to floss every day. Because your gums are swollen, food particles can be more problematic than normal during your pregnancy.

Question: What are “pregnancy tumors”?

Answer: As scary as that might sound, these so-called “tumors” are not cancerous. These little “raspberries” in your mouth can form between your teeth. Sometimes these growths will bleed easily, including when you go to brush your teeth. Once again, hormones are the cause.

In most cases, people can have their dentist remove these lumps if they become an issue. Keep in mind that the growths will also naturally go away on their own after you give birth (2, 3, 4).

Question: I’ve been told I need a tooth pulled. Do I need to worry about how that procedure might affect my baby?

Answer: This procedure is safe, but in some cases, your dentist may feel it’s fine to postpone a certain procedure.

It does surprise many to hear, but radiographs are also safe during your pregnancy. There are also local anesthetics that can be used safely during this time.

Even though preventive and restorative dental treatments are safe for you and your baby, be sure to always let us know you are pregnant, as certain medications can be switched out, among other factors that can be influenced by your pregnancy.

Question: Does morning sickness affect my teeth?

Answer: This is an area many women worry about! Morning sickness can bring acid from your stomach into your mouth. The result is that tooth erosion can happen, and it can happen quickly.

Besides coming in to talk to us about your specific situation, aim to wash out your mouth with water (or with a fluoride mouthwash) first before brushing your teeth after morning sickness. That way, you can get rid of some of the acidity before you brush your teeth.

Ask us about a way to use baking soda that can also help if morning sickness is a recurring problem for you.

Question: Are dental x-rays still safe even though I’m pregnant?

Answer: We tend to do x-rays during when we need to; after all, they are in fact safe. In some cases, we delay the x-ray until after your baby is born. In all cases, we avoid putting you or your baby at risk.

Each person is different and we assess what’s best for your health. No matter what, if x-rays are taken, we do make sure to minimize your exposure to the x-rays.

hagen dental in cincinnati ohio

We Want You to Be As Healthy as Possible During Pregnancy

As always, be sure to come in to see us to get recommendations that are specific to you. Pregnancy is a beautiful journey and really does bring so many changes to your body. We’re here to help support your entire health during this special time. Call us at (513) 251-5500 or clicking the online scheduling button to schedule your professional cleaning today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/pregnancy#
  2. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/for_the_dental_patient_may_2011.pdf?la=en
  3. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns
  4. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/oral-care-during-pregnancy/four-things-to-know-about-oral-health-and-pregnancy-1014
  5. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy

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