In the midst of all the things, you need to think about, we know seeing your dentist may not be very high on the list. However, dental health has a big impact on your overall health which in turn has a major influence on the health of your baby, so it’s important that you maintain a good dental health routine throughout your pregnancy, and beyond (of course).
Why dental health is so important during pregnancy?
In August 2016, a new survey conducted in Sydney from the Australian Dental Association (ADA) uncovered that mums across the country (despite being at increased risk of gum disease and permanent tooth damage) are jeopardising the health of their teeth and gums by avoiding a visit to the dentist during pregnancy.
Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can exacerbate problems with your teeth and gums, and so you should maintain regular check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist is well-versed in which medications you can safely take while pregnant, and which procedures can be safely done at different stages of pregnancy.
What are ‘Pregnancy tumours’?
You may also develop what are called “pregnancy tumours” (officially pyogenic granulomas), which are red lumpy lesions that appear along the gum line and between the teeth. Don’t worry – they’re quite harmless, and usually go away once you’ve had your baby.
What is ‘Dry mouth’ or Xerostomia?
You might also be affected by dry mouth (xerostomia), which reduces the amount of saliva you produce, which is a problem since it plays a big role in keeping the bacteria that cause tooth decay in check. Gingivostomatitis is another condition that can affect some women – it’s hard to miss, marked by shiny, pale to deep red gums that bleed easily. If you’re diagnosed with either condition, the good news is that they can be easily managed by your dentist.
The impact these hormonal changes have on your oral health during pregnancy means your dentist should join your GP and your obstetrician on your list of health professionals whom you consult regularly. You need to make regular visits to your dentist in the lead-up to, during and after your pregnancy a priority.