We all know how important caring for good health is for every future Mom. After all, by doing so, she is also caring for the health of her unborn child.
We previously explained that dental caries is a disease caused by bacteria, so if we did not manage to care for the health of our teeth before the pregnancy, they should now be treated as soon as possible.
Contrary to prevailing opinion, women not only can, but should treat their teeth during pregnancy! A developing inflammation, often accompanied by pain, might be a threat to the baby. Unfortunately, future young moms very often reach for painkillers and decide not to see a dentist. Such behaviour is reckless, because an inflammation won’t just go away, while the sharp, darting pain will only get worse. An inflammation is dangerous for the baby, because all bacterial toxins can directly affect the foetus.
Dental care of pregnant women is particularly important in view of the fact that the state of health of the women’s oral cavity has a big influence on the course and completion of pregnancy. It is estimated that around 18% of premature births and births with low birth weight is linked with periodontal diseases and inflammations of the oral cavity (see -> periodontics). That is why particular importance is attached to appropriate prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases, which might lead to a significant lowering of the frequency of occurrence of premature births. It should also be noted that in the first trimester of pregnancy most women suffer from recurrent nausea (vomiting), that lead to damaging tooth enamel and intensify the growth of already existing carious cavities. It’s exacerbation of caries, periodontal diseases, increased tooth mobility, painful gums and bleeding, as well as foul breath that most often make pregnant women visit a dental clinic.
Throughout the entire duration of pregnancy and breastfeeding period, the teeth are more prone to caries than usual. The baby “drains” the mother of calcium and vitamins, which contributes to damaging the teeth. Exacerbation of caries during pregnancy results mainly from neglecting oral hygiene, increased appetite and frequent snacking on high-carbohydrate food. It is also linked to the acidic reaction of saliva during pregnancy and the damaging of tooth enamel as a result of pregnancy vomiting. Pregnant women are advised to rinse their mouths using diluted fluoride mouthwash. On the other hand, it is not recommended to brush teeth with a tooth brush directly after vomiting, as this will further destroy tooth enamel.
Gum inflammation during pregnancy
Gum inflammation during pregnancy is a transient phenomenon. It can be general or local. It most often occurs at the beginning of the second trimester. The symptoms increase gradually, until they peak at around the 8th month of the pregnancy, and then gradually decrease as the expected date of birth approaches.
The most frequent symptoms of gum inflammation during pregnancy are softening, overgrowth, pain and bleeding from gums. If a future mom is experiencing any of these, she should see a dentist immediately.
IT WAS FOUND THAT UNTREATED PERIODONTAL INFECTIONS CAUSE PREMATURE BIRTHS AND BIRTHS WITH LOW BIRTH WEIGHT.
The scope of dental treatment during pregnancy
Women during pregnancy require planned and attentive dental care like in no other period in their lives. Contrary to prevailing opinion,
THERE ARE NO CONTRAINDICATIONS TO PERFORMING PREVENTIVE AND CURATIVE DENTAL PROCEDURES DURING PREGNANCY.
The safest time, however, is the second trimester, because the first three months are a special period when the foetus takes shape and develops the most important organs, while treatment in the third trimester might be more difficult on account of the inconveniences related to the size of the mother’s belly. Although it requires more effort than usual, all teeth problems during pregnancy can be avoided through prevention, regular check-ups and appropriate treatment.
X-rays during pregnancy
The effects of X-ray radiation on the foetus has for years been the topic of many research papers. Recent studies have shown that there is a link between dental radiography and low birth weight, caused by the impact that the radiation has on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis.
DURING PREGNANCY, X-RAY EXAMINATIONS SHOULD BE KEPT TO A MINIMUM AND PERFORMED ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY
Local anaesthesia in pregnancy
There are no contraindications to the use of local anaesthesia in pregnant women. However, the future mom should inform the doctor that she is pregnant, as it will influence the choice of the anaesthetic (an anaesthetic without adrenaline is used – see -> our clinic is pain-free). It often happens that stress related to dental treatment without anaesthesia increases the release of adrenaline and can have a more adverse effect on the foetus than treatment with the use of anaesthesia.