Pregnancy and Oral Health

young boy hugging pregnant mother

Pregnancy is probably one of the most joyous and exciting times for a woman. However, a pregnant woman undergoes numerous hormonal changes that can have many adverse effects. These hormonal changes increases the chance of gum disease. This can be dangerous as gum disease can affect the growing fetus and negatively impact the development of the baby. This is why proper dental care is absolutely essential for pregnant women.

How Can Your Dentist Help?

Good oral health is essential for the overall health of both the mother as well as the growing fetus. However, very few women visit their dentists regularly when they are pregnant. Shockingly, the numbers are as low as 20% to 30% of expectant mothers. Proper dental care during pregnancy can prevent conditions like pregnancy gingivitis and ensure that the baby’s development is not affected adversely due to dental issues. Gingivitis is among the most common oral disease that has been observed in pregnant women. Studies suggest that as many as 30% of the pregnancies often lead to gingivitis. This can be easily treated with at least one visit to the dentist during pregnancy.

However, dental procedures should be avoided during the first and second trimesters. Pregnant women can undergo dental procedures if they are in the third trimester. Also, morning sickness and cravings during pregnancy can be harmful to the teeth and gums of pregnant women. Women often crave sugary and unhealthy foods during their pregnancies and this can accelerate the formation of cavities. This is why pregnant women should go for regular check-ups to the dentist to tackle the formation of cavities.

Oral Diseases during Pregnancy

The most commonly occurring oral disease in pregnant women includes gingivitis. It is very essential that gingivitis be treated on time as it may also lead to Periodontis which is a more serious form of gum disease. In addition to this, certain hormonal changes can also cause formation of certain benign tumors in the mouth. These tumors generally develop after the first trimester of pregnancy and usually diminish after the delivery. However, in certain cases, these may lead to bleeding or obstruction when eating. As a result, you may have to remove them surgically.

Patients often delay their dental treatment in as they fear the safety of the fetus. However, routine dental procedures can be easily performed during the second and third trimesters of the pregnancy without raising any causes for concern about fetal safety. In fact not taking proper dental care during pregnancy may cause concern for the fetal safety. This is because, untreated oral diseases can lead to severe pain and infections. This would mean exposure to medication that could harm the fetus. Also poor oral health may restrict the nutritional intake in expectant mothers leading to adverse effects on the baby.

For any other questions regarding pregnancy and oral health, give Hinsdale Dental a call today!

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