Pregnancy Dental Care Tips
Pregnancy causes changes all throughout your body, including inside your mouth. It is important to inform us if you are pregnant or could be pregnant at your dental visit. Find out the answers to common questions as well as what you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy during your pregnancy below.
Can I go to the dentist while I’m pregnant?
It is important for you to go to a dentist regularly even before you get pregnant. That way, any problems that are present can be addressed and reduce the likelihood of a toothache or another dental problem occuring during your pregnancy requiring further treatment. You should still see the dentist for your checkups during your pregnancy. The hormonal changes in pregnancy may cause your gums to be inflamed and bleed more than usual. Having a scale and clean during your pregnancy will help to reduce the bacterial load in your mouth and keep your mouth healthy. The best time to see a dentist during your pregnancy is during your second trimester.
Are x-rays safe while I’m pregnant?
Modern x-rays are very low in radiation and a single dose should not cause any adverse effects in the development of a foetus. At Peninsula Dental Care, we provide a lead apron to reduce the exposure further.
The best way to reduce the chance of you needing x-rays during your pregnancy is to attend your dentist regularly for check ups and ensure you have recent up to date x-rays prior to your pregnancy.
If you have a dental emergency during your pregnancy (such as a toothache), you may still need to have an x-ray taken to arrive at a diagnosis. If you are in severe pain, there is no benefit to delaying x-rays and treatment due to your pregnancy as the pain may cause more stress to your body.
Can I have anaesthetic during pregnancy?
Yes, there is no harm in having anaesthetic during your pregnancy if it is required. It is important for you to be comfortable during your dental procedure as it will put you and your baby in less stress.
Can morning sickness damage my teeth?
Morning sickness and acid reflux during pregnancy places your teeth at risk of erosion. Erosion is the loss of tooth surface due to acid. To reduce your risk of erosion:
- Rinse your mouth immediately with water
- Smear some fluoride toothpaste on your teeth without brushing
- Avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after a morning sickness episode
- Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva and neutralise the acid
- Reduce or avoid acidic drinks such as fruit juice and soft drinks
- Drink plenty of water
Why are my gums bleeding more during pregnancy?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to a greater inflammatory response which can result in swollen and bleeding gums. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis. Maintaining good oral hygiene through brushing and flossing as well as maintaining your regular dental checkup and clean can help to manage the gingivitis. Your gum inflammation should reduce after your pregnancy is over.
I have a red lump on my gums. What is it?
If you notice a red swollen lumpy mass at your gum line during your pregnancy, this is most likely a pyogenic granuloma, also known as a pregnancy tumour. It is caused by elevated hormones during pregnancy and is not cancerous or contagious. Pregnancy tumours do not require any treatment and generally should go away by themselves after the pregnancy is over. In rare circumstances where the pregnancy tumour does not resolve spontaneously after pregnancy, your dentist may need to excise it surgically.
When does my child need to visit the dentist?
It is recommended for the child to visit the dentist before their 2nd birthday. We are happy to answer any questions and provide advice to help to maintain your child’s oral health when you attend for your own dental check up.
You do not need to avoid the dentist when you are pregnant. Let us know that you’re expecting and we are happy to look after your oral health during this exciting time!