A common question is whether it is safe to visit the dentist when you discover you are pregnant. The answer is that, yes, it is safe to get a dental checkup while expecting a child. However, if you thought otherwise, you are not alone. A lot of women do not get dental care while pregnant for several reasons, including a mistaken fear of harming the baby.
That outdated thinking still runs high. The problem, though, is that it is more important than ever for the woman to regularly see the dentist. Why? The answer is below.
Pregnancy and Gum Inflammation
Did you know pregnancy itself can exacerbate certain dental conditions? Pregnancy gingivitis is a reality, with approximately 70% of women developing gum disease.
The reason for pregnancy gingivitis is the hormonal changes that happen while carrying the baby. As blood flow increases to the gums, the gums become very sensitive as a result of those fluctuations of hormones. The gums are tender and sore if you touch them.
Furthermore, the changes in hormones can negatively affect how the body would normally respond to bacteria. That can trigger periodontal infections.
What if You Don’t See a Dentist When You Have Gum Disease?
The answer to this question is that you risk making matters worse by not seeing a dentist. If pregnancy gingivitis goes untreated, the bone supporting the teeth can weaken, and that can have a detrimental effect on the gums.
Without proper support, the teeth can loosen and, over time, need to be extracted. Thus, it is important to keep an eye on your oral health to help stop that issue from happening to you.
The reality is that even if you have healthy gums to begin with, pregnancy can trigger gum disease. As explained earlier, hormones change, and more blood flows to the gums, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Making Your First Checkup when Pregnant
If you are anxious about seeing a dentist because you worry that something could happen to harm your baby during the appointment, speak with the dental office about it by calling them. A reputable dental team will take the time to explain what you can expect during a routine checkup and answer your questions regarding the safety of your little one.
While it is probably best to delay elective procedures like tooth whitening while pregnant, routine checkups are something that a dentist is likely to advise for both your oral health and for your baby’s wellness. Contact bafdentistry.com to learn more about a regular checkup as an expectant mom and if it’s right for you.
Let the dentist know you are pregnant, how far along you are, and whether you are taking any medications. Disclose what those meds are and if you have any existing medical conditions so that the dentist can advise what is best delayed until after you give birth. A high-risk pregnancy, for example, may mean that it is best to wait.
Conclusions on Seeing a Dentist while Pregnant
Understanding how pregnancy affects oral health, as well as what to tell the dentist when booking a regular checkup, can help you and your baby’s health. Speak about any concerns openly with your dentist.