Oral Health during Pregnancy

Pregnant women have a greater tendency to have inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis and have a greater amount of caries, due to the hormonal changes and the diet that is carried out during the pregnancy. Such diet tends to be richer in carbohydrates and sweet foods.

The increase of gingivitis during pregnancy is produced by the increase of the prolactin hormone and estrogens. This condition causes changes throughout the body and among them, the tissues of the mouth. In addition, gums appear reddened, edematous, sensitive and prone to spontaneous bleeding or small stimuli such as chewing foods or teeth brushing. It is more evident from the third month of pregnancy. If the woman previously had gingivitis or periodontal disease, it gets worse during pregnancy.

Untreated gingivitis may evolve into a true periodontal disease, with injury to the bone-to-tooth binding tissues and risk of tooth loss. Even this gum can grow beyond what is considered habitual.

Recommendations:

  1. Careful Cleanings: It will remove the bacterial plaque that is the cause of tooth decay and gingivitis. When going for professional dental cleanings, X-rays should only be taken if absolutely essential and although dental radiation is not very risky because it is of low intensity, it will still be mandatory to use the lead apron to protect the belly from x-rays.
  2. Decrease the sugar: it will prevent the appearance of cavities.
  3. Balanced diet: Ensuring the good health status of mother and fetus.

If a woman is expecting to become pregnant, it is advisable to go to the dentist before conception, to have the mouth in good condition during gestation. During the first trimester of pregnancy it is not advisable to do any dental treatment since the fetus is developing its organs and it is necessary to avoid taking any type of medicine.

The second trimester (between 3 and 6 months of pregnancy), is the most opportune time to perform simple dental treatments, such as fillings or dental cleanings. More complex or extensive treatments, especially those with surgeries, are best postponed until after delivery.

The use of medicines must be very well controlled by the doctor, since all of them will pass to the baby through the blood. Due to this, it is necessary to talk in detail with the dentist and the attending physician, to evaluate the benefits of its use and, above all, to avoid any risk.

 

Regular visits to the dentist are important to ensure oral health and will bring great benefits not only to the mother but to the future baby.