If you’re pregnant, it’s important that you don’t forget about your teeth. Expecting has major effects on your body and your teeth are no exception. Here’s what you need to know:
As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, make an appointment with your dentist. Let your dental office know how far along you are and if there are any medical conditions they should be aware of, including a high-risk pregnancy.
Your dentist can discuss your oral health with you and come up with a plan for the rest of your pregnancy. If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, you should also make an appointment with your dentist and take care of any outstanding procedures before you become pregnant.
You may have heard the myth that you lose calcium when pregnant or that “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy.” This is not true, but you can experience changes during pregnancy because of an increase in hormones like estrogen and progesterone that can affect the way your gums respond to plaque. Being pregnant can put you at higher risk for tooth decay, gum disease (also known as “pregnancy gingivitis”) and oral growths called “pregnancy tumors.” If you have moderate to severe gum disease, you may be at higher risk for delivering a pre-term, low-birth weight baby. These conditions are all treatable and your dentist can prescribe treatment.
Your regular dental cleanings pose no harm to your or your baby. In fact, they’re the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy, which is especially important during pregnancy.
Dental x-rays are now considered safe during pregnancy by the American Dental Association. X-rays can be crucial in identifying major problems that cannot be seen otherwise, like tooth decay, bone loss or infected root canals. If you have any concerns, talk to your dentist, who can help evaluate your situation and decide whether x-rays can or should be postponed.
Anesthesia may not be safe for you during pregnancy, especially the first trimester. You’ll want to delay dental work that requires anesthesia like a filling or a root canal, until after you’ve given birth.
If you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, call our office today at (562) 434-6414 to schedule an appointment.