PREGNANCY AND DENTISTRY
There’s a lot of physical changes that is happening when you are pregnant. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that causes gum inflammation which increase the risk of gum disease that might affect the health of your unborn baby. A routine dental checkup can be done anytime during pregnancy. The ideal to do dental treatment during pregnancy is during second trimester. But the safest to do all the treatment is to postpone all unnecessary dental treatment is after birth. Clearance from your OB- Gyne is still recommended if you are undergoing any dental treatment.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS DURING PREGNANCY:
- “I have a toothache, what will I do? “
- Pain relief medicine
- Acetominophen, is an over the counter pain reliever can provide a short term relief for toothache. According to American Pregnancy Association, recommends that all pregnant women to consult their doctors first before taking any over the counter medication.
- Rinsing with Warm Water
- Rinsing with warm water can help to soothe a toothache. Adding a teaspoon of salt may further assists in cleansing the area. Regular brushing and flossing are very important, this routine can help prevent more severe dental problems for a pregnant woman.
- Hot/Cold Compress
- Apply hot compress on the area where the pain is occurring. This will provide a temporary relief for toothache. Hot compress will increase the circulation on the affected area which allows the immune system to tackle the source of pain.
- Apply an ice pack on your face to numb nerves that causes the toothache
- Visit your Dentist for Check Up
- Any dental treatment can be done at any time of pregnancy, but the best time to perform the treatment is during second trimester. At this time all the vital organs are already complete and the risk side effects is lower. Postural discomfort, nausea are less of an issue during second trimester.
- “Is it safe to take Radiograph?”
- According to American Dental Association having x-rays during pregnancy is considered SAFE with appropriate shielding. American College of Radiology says that, no single diagnostic xray radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing fetus.
- “Is it OK to have Local Anesthetics during Pregnancy? “
- Based from the study performed by Dr. Aharon Hagai, “exposure to dental care and anesthetics during pregnancy is not associated with increased risk of major medical problems in newborns.”
- “What are the possible changes in my oral cavity that I might observe during my pregnancy?”
- Increased Risk of Tooth Decay
- Most of the pregnant women are prone to cavities due to their diet. If the she is eating more on carbohydrate/ sugary snacks. High acid levels in your mouth break down enamel and trigger tooth decay
- Pregnancy Gingivitis
- It is characterized by swelling/ Inflammation of gums and is caused by bacterial film that grows on the teeth, resulting to dental plaque. Hormonal changes during pregnancy affects the body’s natural response to dental plaque, resulting a higher chance of pregnant women having gingivitis. Although gingivitis subsided after giving birth, its is advisable to monitor it by your dentist in order to prevent the gingivitis from turning into a more serious problem which is periodontitis
- Tooth Erosion
- Morning sickness, or constant vomiting will cause damage to the enamel of the teeth. When the morning sickness extends for a period of time it increases gastric reflux which contributed to dental erosion.
- Prevention of dental erosion during pregnancy
+ After vomiting rinse with water and DO NOT brush your teeth, wait at least ONE HOUR
+ Use soft bristle toothbrush to limit irritation
+ Drink lots of water throughout the day to decrease acidity level in the mouth
+ Limit acidic beverages such as carbonated beverages, acidic fruit juices