Can you go to the dentist while pregnant?
Pregnancy has a significant impact on your daily routine, ranging from your workout regimen to your dietary preferences. You may begin contemplating whether there are any other activities that require alteration or avoidance during this period. Surprisingly, dental care is one such area that demands attention.
It is imperative to note that regular dental checkups and cleanings are important during pregnancy. The same principle applies to the timely treatment of any toothache or other worrisome dental issues that may arise during this period
Pregnancy can affect your dental health
There are various transformations that occur in your physical and daily routine during pregnancy, which may elevate your susceptibility to specific dental health issues:
- Hormonal changes can cause “pregnancy gingivitis”: During pregnancy, a substantial number of female individuals report experiencing sensitive, swollen, or bleeding gums. The root cause of this occurrence is attributed to the heightened levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body, which trigger inflammation within the gingiva – the oral tissue encircling one’s teeth. Failure to provide adequate oral hygiene can lead to the progression of gingivitis to a more severe form of periodontal disease.
- Routine changes can interfere with your daily oral care: In light of pregnancy-induced exhaustion and disturbed sleep patterns, it is plausible that you may feel more inclined to forget to brush your healthy teeth. However, this heightened tiredness can result in the temptation to forego your regular brushing and flossing routine before bedtime.
- Changes in your eating habits can contribute to tooth decay: In the prenatal period, symptoms like food aversions and nausea can often create an obstacle in consuming balanced meals during regular mealtimes. As a consequence, individuals might end up opting for more snacks. However, it is important to note that this habit may lead to an increase in exposure of one’s teeth to acid, sugary foods and starches, all of which serve as a source of nourishment for detrimental bacteria that decay teeth.
- Morning sickness can wear on your teeth: The regurgitation of stomach contents, commonly known as vomiting, exposes the teeth to stomach acid which may lead to dental caries over time.
How will pregnancy affect my mouth?
While pregnant, a number of individuals may not undergo dental distress. Nevertheless, your pregnancy could alter conditions that have an impact on your gums and teeth.
Pregnancy gingivitis is a common oral condition observed in some individuals during pregnancy. It results in inflammation and tenderness of gums, with occasional bleeding during brushing or flossing. During pregnancy, increased hormonal levels alter the response of your gums to plaque. Plaque, which is a sticky substance that gathers on teeth, particularly in the gaps between dental cleanings, is affected by these hormonal changes.
As gingivitis is a precursor to severe gum diseases, your dentist will suggest various methods to alleviate any symptoms you are experiencing. Additional cleaning sessions or an anti-microbial mouth rinse may be required during pregnancy to mitigate the effects of gingivitis.
Pregnancy is a period that poses an increased risk of cavities. An intake of excessive carbohydrates acts as an additional fuel source for the oral bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay. Morning sickness, which is common during pregnancy, leads to heightened levels of acid in your mouth that can damage the tooth enamel, resulting in loss of the protective coating on teeth. It is possible for your dental professional to suggest that you rinse your mouth with a solution of water and baking soda as an effective measure to eliminate any surplus acids.