Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman’s life, accompanied by physiologic and hormonal changes that can affect oral health and how it can be provided.
- Pregnancy gingivitis. The surge in female hormones is associated with an increase in gum disease. Many pregnant women find that their gums bleed easily and are more sensitive to plaque.
- The experience of nausea can lead to the inability to brush and maintain oral hygiene which can also lead to gum problems like gingivitis(bleeding/swollen gums) as well as bad breath. Due to hormonal changes in the body, infection in the mouth can eventually affect the unborn baby.
- Vomiting and acid reflux damage the teeth due to erosion of enamel. This can result in teeth becoming more sensitive and more prone to decay.
- Gum disease can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene at home and also visiting your dentist for professional care and tooth cleaning. Depending on patient needs, specific recommendations can be made to assist the mother’s and baby’s wellbeing.
- Current evidence asserts that it is safe to have dental treatment during pregnancy, and there are no risks associated with the use of local anaesthetics . By not having the dental treatment when it is required, problems can worsen and lead to infections, swelling or advanced gum disease.
- Digital X-rays can be done if these are considered a necessity for the mother’s well-being, and a lead apron is utilised for the baby’s protection.
Poor maternal oral health can increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Receiving dental care during pregnancy is important to maintaining health for the mother and her unborn child.