Pregnancy is a really special time your life. During this period, the body goes through a lot of changes. It is pretty common knowledge that pregnancy causes changes in hormones, which can also greatly affect oral health. This is why it is especially important to take care of your teeth, gums and mouth while you are pregnant. Neglecting this important part can affect you and your baby’s health.
To help you learn more about dental care during pregnancy, we’ve listed out the most common questions pregnant women ask:
1. Can morning sickness affect my oral health?
Morning sickness is one of the most common issues associated with pregnancy. This can be very frustrating to deal with and also harmful to your teeth. When you vomit, the liquid that comes out is acidic and contains bacteria. The acidity can burn and damage the enamel of the teeth. To avoid this from happening, wash your mouth immediately after vomiting. Use a diluted mouthwash or an organic wash, if you want to go more natural.
2. Should I make changes to my usual dental care regimen?
Poor dental hygiene can lead to pregnancy issues like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. This is why pregnancy doctors will often remind their patients to also prioritize dental health. Ideally, you should brush teeth two times a day and floss daily.
3. Why do I feel like gagging when brushing?
You might feel that your gag reflex is a little too sensitive sometimes and this can cause you to feel a gagging sensation every time you brush your teeth. Your sensitivity problem is caused by the hormonal changes your body is going through. While it might be tempting to skip brushing because of the heightened gag reflex, it is important to stick to your dental care routine. Consider using softer bristles or smaller toothbrushes and a different flavored toothpaste.
4. Why are my gums bleeding?
Bleeding gums is a common sign of gum disease but there is also such a thing called ‘pregnancy gingivitis’. This condition, caused by hormonal changes, is pretty common and goes away after pregnancy. If your gums continue to bleed after you’ve given birth, then you might need to have it checked.
5. Is it safe to get an x-ray?
While radiation is present during the procedure, the amount emitted is extremely low and will not affect your baby. Dental x-rays are perfectly safe to do. Your doctor or radiologist will also provide you with protective tools for an extra layer of security.
6. How often should I visit my dentist?
The ideal schedule for dental checkups is twice a year or every 6 months. However, you might need to visit more often when pregnant, especially if you are feeling teeth sensitivity, gingivitis or tooth pain.
7. Is it safe to have a cavity filled?
Some pregnant women prefer not to have dental treatments when they are pregnant. While major procedures and surgeries should be avoided, a cavity filling is safe and may even be necessary. Neglected cavities can cause infection, which can be harmful to your baby.