July 3, 2022
Pregnancy is an exciting time. If you’re past the first trimester – when most women experience nausea and fatigue – you may be starting to feel like you can accomplish all the things on your to-do list before your bundle of joy arrives. There’s one thing that may not be on your list, but it definitely should be: visiting the dentist! The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy in Palm Beach can really affect your oral health, which could even have implications for your baby. Keep reading to learn more about why you should schedule a dental checkup when you’re expecting.
Pregnancy and Your Oral Health
When you get pregnant, your body goes through a number of changes. And, while you may not realize it, that includes transitions in your oral health. Hormonal shifts brought on by pregnancy can result in the following:
- Increased risk of gum disease (so common it’s referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis”)
- Bleeding gums
- Difficulty brushing the teeth due to a sensitive gag reflex
- Increased risk of tooth decay
- Swelling between teeth that results in what’s known as “pregnancy tumors” – non-cancerous lumps. They bleed easily but should go away once the baby is born.
Gum disease and tooth decay can pose a risk to your baby because they threaten to introduce bacteria into the bloodstream. Seeking treatment is crucial for the health of mom and baby.
Visiting the Dentist While Pregnant
There is a common misconception that it is risky to visit the dentist while pregnant. This is simply not true – in addition to being completely safe, not receiving dental care during this time can pose a greater threat if you develop gum disease or cavities.
Ideally, you will have visited the dentist soon before becoming pregnant. Even if not, that is ok – just don’t wait to make your appointment. Be sure to let your dentist know that you are expecting. Knowing will help them identify any potential issues and provide a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
X-rays are safe during pregnancy, but to be extra cautious, your dentist will have you cover your abdomen and thyroid with a special covering. The X-ray can help them identify problems that may be lurking beneath the surface, like cavities between teeth.
Any urgent procedure can be done during pregnancy. That includes root canals, fillings, crowns, etc. Anything that is not urgent, like cosmetic procedures, should wait until after delivery.
If you or someone you love are pregnant, be sure to seek dental care at any point during the 9 months before their precious bundle of joy arrives. Remember that doing so is important for everyone’s health!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Maggie Davis and her team offer excellent pediatric dental care for the littlest members of your family. From general checkups and cleanings that are as friendly as they are fun to emergency dentistry and treatment for lip and tongue tie, this team really does it all for kiddos and their families in our area. To learn more or to book an appointment, call the pediatric dentist Palm Harbor trusts at (727) 786-7551.
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