Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

Your Dentist Helps Your Teeth Stay Healthy During Pregnancy So You Avoid Gum Disease And Cavities

by Wyatt Morgan

Your body undergoes a lot of changes when you're pregnant, including changes to your oral health. You might be more susceptible to gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss when you're pregnant due to hormonal changes. Here are some suggestions for working with your dentist to keep your teeth and gums healthy during your pregnancy.

Get A Pre-Pregnancy Dental Exam

If you're planning to get pregnant, then schedule a dental appointment before you conceive. If you know you have dental problems, then see a dentist several months before you start trying for a baby so you have time to get dental work completed. When you see a dentist before you get pregnant, you'll have time to get fillings done and have a deep cleaning of your gums if you have the beginnings of gingivitis.

Plus, you can ask the dentist for advice on how to care for your oral health during pregnancy and what types of oral care products you should use. Since your risk of gingivitis and cavities may increase once you're pregnant, getting your teeth in good shape beforehand could prevent the need for dental treatments until your baby is born.

Have Regular Cleanings While Pregnant

While your dentist might recommend holding off on most dental treatments while you're pregnant unless they're an emergency, you can continue with regular cleanings. Routine dental cleanings help keep your gums and teeth in better shape when they are more susceptible to the effects of tartar buildup. You should also call your dentist if you notice unusual symptoms such as excess bleeding, cavities, loose teeth, or growths on your gums. If proper precautions are taken, it's possible to have dental X-rays and receive treatments with local anesthetics during certain stages of your pregnancy, so you don't want to suffer from tooth pain when you need treatment.

Be Consistent With Good Oral Hygiene

The hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy are responsible for your increased risk of gum disease, but other things can be to blame as well. For instance, if you develop a craving for sweets that you can't control, don't forget to brush your teeth after eating them to keep sugar from encouraging bacterial growth.

Also, brushing your teeth might trigger nausea and vomiting when you're dealing with morning sickness. Even so, you don't want to avoid oral care because you could develop a cavity that needs to be treated while you're pregnant. Frequent vomiting from morning sickness covers your teeth in acid that can be damaging. Your dentist might recommend using an acid-neutralizing mouth rinse after you vomit and before you brush your teeth.

Fortunately, many of the oral health challenges brought on by pregnancy will go away once your baby is born. However, if you develop cavities while pregnant, those will probably need to be filled once your baby is born so you don't suffer from a toothache at a time when you need all of your energy to care for your new baby.