2 Reasons You Need To Tell Your Dentist You're Pregnant

Dentist Blog

You've recently found out you're pregnant and begun quietly informing family members and making medical arrangements for prenatal care. But did you think to include your family dentist in that prenatal care plan?

It's important to inform your dentist and set up a regular examination schedule for your pregnancy. That's because you're now at risk for a couple of oral health conditions that can lead to serious medical complications:

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a periodontal disease caused by excessive bacteria in the mouth. The condition tends to arise due to poor oral health care and initially presents with gum soreness and bleeding. In cases of advanced gingivitis, a severe mouth infection can take hold and cause permanent damage to the teeth and gums. The infection can also spread elsewhere in the body such as the sinus, ears or even the bloodstream.

When you're pregnant, your hormone levels go on a wild ride. The level of progesterone hormone increases, which can have a potential impact on oral health. It's thought that the increased progesterone makes it easier for gingivitis-causing plaque to develop and linger and can weaken gums and make them more vulnerable.

How can you minimize your chances of pregnancy-related gingivitis?  Brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day using soft motions. Your dentist might recommend specific toothpaste and mouthwash products for use during your pregnancy. Ask your dentist if you should have a cleaning during these months, and keep the appointment if a cleaning is advised.

Pregnancy Dental Tumors

The name of this condition is a bit scarier than the actual symptoms. These large red lumps can form along infected gums when you are experiencing pregnancy gingivitis. The tumors can make it uncomfortable to talk or eat and the sores can break open and bleed.

On the plus side, these tumors aren't cancer and usually disappear after you give birth. But you might be in pain until birth. If the tumors are too painful, your dentist might opt to surgically remove the sores from your gums. There's a chance they will still come back before you give birth, but this can at least give you temporary pain relief.

Proper oral health care is also vital in keeping pregnancy dental tumors from becoming too severe. You won't want to run a toothbrush over the sore so ask your dentist for some mouthwash that can keep that area clean. The dentist also might require a cleaning to get the plaque away from your gums in order to prevent more sores from developing.


27 February 2015