Oral health is an important component of general health and should be maintained throughout a woman’s lifespan and particularly during pregnancy. Many women feel that their teeth deteriorate during pregnancy. It’s a common phenomenon. But the reason for this is not because of the old wives tale: ‘The baby sucked the calcium out of my teeth”.
What actually happens is that during pregnancy the hormones in a woman’s body make her teeth and gums more reactive to any plaque and bacteria build-up in the mouth. Pregnant women are also more susceptible to infections as their immune systems are not as strong. In addition to this, the amount and frequency that they eat is increased (as they are now eating for two!) and many women experience issues with nausea and vomiting. So on the one hand you have teeth and gums that are more sensitive to disease and on the other you have more food substrate and acidity to accelerate any decay or disease that may be present. This is what makes the teeth have a much higher potential of deteriorating during the pregnancy period.
This is why it’s so important to continue with dental visits and maintain high levels of dental hygiene during this important period of a woman’s life. The common phenomenon of pregnant women experiencing deterioration in their dental health is completely preventable.
Another common question we get asked is, “are dental x-rays safe during pregnancy?”. Radiation involved in dental x-rays is exceptionally low. While we usually aim for routine x-rays to be completed before or after the pregnancy, they can still be safely taken during the pregnancy if required.
Optimal maternal oral hygiene during the perinatal period can also reduce the amount of decay and gum disease-producing bacteria that is passed on to the new infant. This can have a significant impact on the child’s dental health throughout their lifetime, so it is paramount that expectant mums continue with their dental visits before, during and after the pregnancy.
Don’t let your dental hygiene suffer during pregnancy. Make an appointment with us to ensure your teeth stay in great shape when you’re expecting.
CLICK HERE to read the tips and guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists