Dental care during pregnancy is of great importance and is vital for a healthy mother and baby. Hormonal changes or fluctuations in a pregnant woman can greatly influence the health and ecosystem of her oral cavity. There is an increased deposition of plaque in the oral cavity during pregnancy and the gums become increasingly sensitive to these deposits.
Let us see a small depiction of changes in your oral cavity:
As seen above, pregnancy might lead to a variety of oral health conditions which require careful monitoring and timely intervention by a dentist.
Things to remember:
Best practice is to visit a dentist before getting pregnant to ensure that you have a healthy oral cavity and to avoid complications and preventable procedures during the pregnancy. A dentist might do a basic scaling, polishing, decayed tooth fillings or wisdom tooth removal prior to the pregnancy.
Any couple planning for an IVF procedure should also mandatorily undergo a complete dental evaluation and treatment. This is advised and initiated by all IVF doctors before commencing the treatment.
During Pregnancy: Visiting a dentist is crucial during the pregnancy to avoid any of the above-mentioned complications. Also, any elective procedures are usually postponed to after the pregnancy to avoid unnecessary X -Rays, medications and pain.
However, all emergency procedures such as a tooth extraction or root canal treatment in case of severe pain or infection, are carried out immediately and utmost precautions are taken to safeguard both mother and baby. This could be by wearing protective lead apron during an X-Ray or avoiding drugs contraindicated in a pregnant woman and making the procedure pain free.
A dentist will also give you the right advice on oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing techniques and will suggest the right diet and nutrition for you and your baby. This might be a suggestion on a fluoride toothpaste or a calcium, vitamin supplement.
Morning sickness might also have effects on the teeth as mentioned in the flowchart. To is best to avoid brushing immediately after vomiting and rather stick to washing your mouth with plain water.
Post-Pregnancy: Any pending procedures not undertaken will be completed and dentists will prescribe only the medications safe during breast feeding if needed.