If you are expecting to add to your family in the near future, it's a time for excitement and preparation. While you may not automatically think of your dental health during your pregnancy, you definitely should. Now more than ever before, the demands that are placed on your body by pregnancy could negatively affect your oral health. Read on to learn about some common dental issues that could pop up during your pregnancy.
Gingivitis and Periodontitus
The presence of pregnancy hormones power your body's ability to provide a nurturing cradle for your developing baby. Those same helpful and vital hormones can work against good oral health, however. Progesterone, in particular, can put your gums at risk for developing gingivitis. You may notice the first signs of problems with a bit of blood on your toothbrush, and this can progress to pain and swelling in your gums.
If not dealt with soon enough, gingivitis will become a more serious disorder, periodontitus. This oral health malady can actually harm your child by prompting your gestating body to issue prostaglandins, the hormones that work to perform labor. You do not want uterine contractions when your baby is not ready, so you can imagine how serious this issue can be. At the first sign of gingivitis, see your dentist for a cleaning and to evaluate the need for more in-depth dental procedures, like scaling.
If you suffered from morning sickness in the early days of your pregnancy, you may have damaged the enamel on your teeth. Strong stomach acids can wreak havoc on tooth enamel, making your teeth more likely to chip and break, and paving the way for cavities to occur. If you can catch a crack early, you may be able to avoid more extensive procedures, like root canal or implants.
Clue Your Dentist In
Be sure to keep up your usual schedule of oral health maintenance during pregnancy. Cleanings and exam are more important than ever now that you are pregnant. While dental x-rays are not necessarily harmful to your growing fetus, your dentist may want to delay that procedure as well as others that would require anesthesia to perform. Infections, such as abscesses, should be addressed right away with draining and antibiotics, but beware of using the antibiotic tetracycline, which could cause damage to your unborn baby's teeth.
This wonderful time is no time to neglect your dental health. Talk with a dentist like Carpenter Dental to find out more.