During pregnancy it is extra important that you pay a lot of attention to taking care of your teeth and gums. Pregnancy hormones can worsen problems with teeth.
During pregnancy, women sometimes have a gum disease called gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by plaque which stays on the teeth and causes red, erected, irritated gums that bleed easily while brushing. It is then called 'pregnancy gingivitis'. Hormonal changes ensure that the gums react more than normal to dental plaque. However it is the plaque, not the hormones, that cause the irritation.
You can prevent these problems by ensuring clean teeth and gums. Dental treatments are possible during pregnancy, but let the dentist know that you are pregnant. Oral care is an important part of your general health. Some dental problems can also affect the baby. Research shows that a certain gum disease (periodontitis) can be related to low birth weight and premature babies.
For a healthy mouth:
If you are pregnant, it is a good idea to visit the dentist during the first trimester for a proper cleaning. The dentist can then propose further visits for the rest of the pregnancy.
Also in the second trimester you can have a cleaning visit, where the dentist can also see any changes to your teeth.
Small treatments can be done during the entire pregnancy, but it is recommended to have them performed between the 4th and the 6th month of pregnancy.
Emergencies that cause a lot of pain can be performed during each trimester. The use of anesthetics and medication should be tailored to the pregnancy. Xrays are usually needed in case of emergency, let them know that you are pregnant and that the dentist will accomodate this.
Tooth brushing and nausea
If tooth brushing makes you feel sick, you can rinse your mouth with fluoride-containing mouthwash and anti-stick mouthwashes.
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