It’s important to not put off visits with your dentist while you’re expecting. Pregnancy brings with it an increased risk of developing oral conditions that can affect the health of you and your baby. Here’s why you should make dental checkups part of your pregnancy plan.
How Pregnancy Affects Dental Health
Pregnant women are at higher risk for developing certain oral health issues, including:
Gingivitis. Elevated levels of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone increase your risk of developing a gum disease. As many as 75 percent of pregnant women develop gingivitis. Periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which is a dangerous gum infection. It can cause tooth loss and may require surgical intervention to treat. More importantly, if you have periodontal disease, the harmful bacteria in your mouth might travel into your bloodstream and eventually to your baby. Medical studies have linked this condition to premature births.
Cavities. Eating habits change during pregnancy, and you may brush and floss your teeth less often. These behaviours could make you more susceptible to developing cavities that require fillings.
Oral tumours. Pregnant women sometimes develop non-cancerous lumps on the gums between their teeth. These lumps are caused by plaque buildup, and they’re red, raw and easily bleed. They usually go away on their own after the baby is born. Tooth erosion. Morning sickness and vomiting are common early symptoms of pregnancy. Unfortunately, stomach acid in your mouth can wear down tooth enamel and make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.
Safe Dental Treatments During Pregnancy
It’s important to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. However, the vast majority of dental procedures are perfectly safe for pregnant women, including:
X-rays. There’s no medical evidence showing dental X-rays are harmful to pregnant women or their unborn babies. Modern X-rays deliver no more radiation than what you absorb naturally every day. If your dentist knows you’re pregnant, they’ll give you a special bib to place over your abdomen.
Local anesthesia. Dentists use a local anesthetic to numb your mouth during various dental procedures. It’s safe to use during pregnancy.
Other medicines. Your dentist may prescribe you antibiotics and pain relievers. Your dentist knows what medications are safe to take during pregnancy.
Family Dentistry in SE Calgary
Forest Lawn Dental Centre provides safe and comfortable dentistry services for Calgary-area families. Dr. Sandhu and his team have created a child-friendly environment so we can accommodate patients of all ages. We bill below the Alberta Dental Fee guide because we believe everyone should have access to affordable dental care in Calgary.
To schedule an appointment, contact our clinic in SE Calgary today.