It is very important to maintain good dental health in order to keep our teeth in optimal conditions throughout our lives. For this it is essential to maintain good hygiene and a good diet avoiding certain foods, such as sweets, avoiding tobacco, as well as regularly visiting the dentist or dental hygienist to perform a deep cleaning when necessary.
Sometimes, in spite of maintaining good dental hygiene, and especially if you are not very strict, solid material accumulates between the gum and the tooth, which is called tartar and corresponds to solidified bacterial plaque. The accumulation of tartar causes inflammation of the gums, which can be bulging and bleed easily. This pathology can worsen with pregnancy because the hormonal changes that occur affect the gums and can cause the so-called gestational gingivitis, which is a worsening of a pre-pregnancy process rather than the appearance of a new ailment. In order to treat it, it is necessary to take extreme care with hygiene and consult with the dentist, and to perform a deep cleaning, which is a harmless procedure during pregnancy and has no contraindication, although it would be necessary to apply local anesthesia. In specific cases it may be necessary medical treatment, anti-inflammatory or antibiotics. Probably there is no problem to perform it during pregnancy, but consult your gynecologist before.
The nausea typical of pregnancy, sometimes worsened by the same brushing or toothpaste, make the pregnant woman can change their habits neglecting their hygiene, the feeling of emptiness in the stomach typical of the first trimester that is only calmed by eating often makes “snacking” more between meals. There are cases that in the first weeks of pregnancy the pregnant woman has an excess of saliva secretion changing the pH of the oral cavity. In patients with vomiting, acidity can damage the enamel… All these processes can cause changes in the health of our mouth, so we must be very careful and not skip our regular visit to the dentist, especially during pregnancy. It is also very important to maintain a good diet throughout pregnancy. Avoid refined sugars, which are very caloric, not very nutritious and harmful to our mouth. Take enough fruits and vegetables for their contribution in vitamins and enough calcium for a good condition of the teeth and bones of both the mother and the baby.
It is quite common to hear that during pregnancy oral treatments cannot be performed, but that is not true, the pregnant woman should be treated like any other person if needed. When a medical or surgical treatment has to be done in the mouth because the case requires it, it is necessary to do what is necessary. In the case of requiring treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics, they should be administered, and if there are doubts about their safety during pregnancy, the gynecologist should be consulted.
It is possible that during pregnancy an existing oral problem may be exacerbated or a new one may appear. Pregnant women can develop cavities or a dental infection just like anyone else. If you are pregnant, you may have a filling or a tooth extracted. In this case, local anesthesia will be administered, which will not have any harmful effect on the fetus. The dentist may require an x-ray, which can also be performed while protecting the mother’s abdomen. All these treatments are allowed during pregnancy, although we prefer to avoid the first trimester, a period during which the formation of all the fetal organs takes place and is more sensitive to the effect of certain chemical substances or radiation, and the third trimester, during which any treatment will be more uncomfortable for the mother because of the abdominal volume in this last phase of pregnancy. However, if the case requires it, oral treatments can be performed throughout the entire pregnancy.
Although prevention is always better than cure… Let’s take care of our dental health before and during pregnancy to avoid major problems.
Dr. Garcia Montaner