Until a few years ago, the recommendation for oral care during pregnancy was that routine dental care should be limited to the second trimester and treatment should be delayed, when possible, until after the baby was delivered.
But in 2012, a new consensus statement regarding oral health care during pregnancy was released as the result of a workgroup convened by the Health Resources and Services Administration in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association.
The consensus today is that it is both safe and important for women to continue to see a dentist during pregnancy. Maintaining oral health is directly related to good overall health. Not only can you take care of cleanings and procedures like cavity fillings before your baby is born, but your dentist can help you with any pregnancy-related dental symptoms you might be experiencing.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can actually make some dental problems worse or create new ones. “Pregnancy gingivitis,” for example, is an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling, tenderness and bleeding when you brush or floss. More frequent dental cleanings can prevent gingivitis which, if untreated, can lead to more serious forms of gum disease.
Also, you may be more cavity-prone during pregnancy because you are consuming more carbohydrates than usual. Morning sickness can increase the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to, which can eat away at tooth enamel.
Be sure to let Dr. Angell and the staff at Angell’s Dentistry know if you are pregnant. When you make your appointment, tell us how far along your pregnancy is. We will also need to know if your pregnancy is high-risk, if you have any medical conditions, if you have received any special advice from your physician and what medications, if any, you are taking.
Angell’s Dentistry is committed to helping you keep your mouth healthy during pregnancy and after. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup and be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.