Pregnancy changes considerably a woman’s life because there are many aspects of her life that change during this period of time. Besides the evident aesthetic changes and some other well-known symptoms, it is probable we do not yet know many of the changes a woman may experience during pregnancy. Oral health may also be altered over these nine months.
Feeling general pain in the mouth and having more tendency to bleed during pregnancy is more common than people think. This can happen due to gingivitis or gum-inflammation. According to the Spanish Pediatric Dentistry Society, gum problems are common during the second month, they reach their highest during the eighth month and after the birth they tend to get better.
The reason for appearing this setback related to oral health is due to the hormonal changes women experience during pregnancy. Those changes have an impact on gum’s blood vessels, periodontal cells functioning, bacteria plaque and local immune system. The gum gets a reddish color, bleeds, has an inflammation and increases its size between teeth, which allows bacteria to build up.
Even if it’s a temporary oral condition, gestational, it must be underlined that if the woman suffers from pre-pregnancy gingivitis or periodontitis, the additional risk of having adverse results rises, mainly preterm birth or low birthweight. In these cases, it is convenient to visit a dentist as soon as the pregnancy is known.
Breakdown of the enamel and risk of tooth decay
Morning sickness is common during the first weeks of pregnancy. Nausea comes with acid, which can cause damage on enamel and teeth erosion if its left for long in the mouth. To overcome this drawback it is only required to rinse out the mouth with water or use mouthwashes with fluoride.
Feeling the mouth more dry than usually is another frequent condition that may occur during pregnancy. As we have mentioned on a previous occasion, saliva has crucial functions on mouth: oral tissues are maintained wet, it helps to clean the mouth and regulates bacteria build-up. These actions prevent from tooth decay and infections. Thus, during pregnancy it is highly recommended to be hydrated or masticate a sugar free chewing gum that rises the saliva flow.
No risks in dental treatments during pregnancy
Besides dairy oral hygiene care, sometimes another type of dental treatments are required during this nine-month period that must be undertaken by a dentist. The second trimester is the best time to have a dental treatment without existing any problem on using local anesthesia. On the other side, dental x-rays do not make any damage if a lead apron is used to cover the woman’s abdomen in order to protect the baby. Finally, if a pregnant woman has medical histories of preterm births it is recommended not to take any dental treatment during the last months of pregnancy. In any case, the best option is to not be afraid of the dentist and visit the doctor to ask all the doubts and fears.