How does pregnancy affect oral health?
It is a false belief that during pregnancy, the mother will lose calcium from her teeth and the mother will lose one tooth during each pregnancy. However, it is a fact that there will be some changes in oral health during pregnancy. The most important change is the increase in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels, which is associated with increased plaque deposition on teeth.
If plaque is not removed, it causes gingivitis. This is called ‘pregnancy gingivitis’. The gingival is red, increased in volume, sensitive and bleeding. This situation affects the majority of pregnant women in the second trimester with different severity. If gingivitis is already present, it may increase in severity during pregnancy and progress to periodontitis if left untreated. Pregnant women also have the risk of developing a ‘pregnancy tumor’. These are inflammatory lesions caused by irritation of gingival growth. It is usually left alone, however if it causes discomforts or prevents the patient from chewing, brushing and other oral care it should be removed by a dentist.
How to avoid these problems?
Gingivitis can be prevented by effective care and cleaning of the teeth. Teeth should be brushed at least twice daily, whenever possible after each meal. Every day, all teeth should be cleaned with dental floss. If brushing teeth in the morning is uncomfortable, use a mouth wash or gargle with anti-plaque and fluoride mouthwashes. In addition to balanced nutrition, vitamin C and B12 supplements are also important for maintaining oral health. More frequent visits to the dentist prevent effective gingivitis development by providing effective plaque control. Plaque control also reduces gum irritation and the risk of pregnancy tumors.
When to visit the dentist?
If pregnancy is planned or pregnant is suspected, the dentist should be visited. Cleaning is appropriate in the first trimester. The dentist will prepare a treatment schedule for the remaining period of the pregnancy. In the second trimester, changes in the oral tissues and the effectiveness of oral care can be evaluated together with re-cleaning. Depending on the situation, appointments can be made again in the third quarter but all these sessions should be as short as possible.
Are there any procedures that should not be carried out during pregnancy?
Generally, non-urgent procedures can also be performed during pregnancy. However, the optimal time for any dental treatment is between the 4th and 6th months. In emergency situations accompanied by severe pain, treatment can be performed at any time during pregnancy. In cases where anesthesia and medication are required, a gynecologist should be contacted. Delayable procedures should be left until after delivery.
Is dental x-ray harmful during pregnancy? In this period, 1-2 films can be taken inside the mouth if absolutely necessary for treatment. Although the amount of radiation used in dental x-rays is very small and carried out not very close to the abdominal area, it is necessary to use lead gowns to prevent the developing baby from receiving radiation. However, x-rays should be avoided during the first trimester.
Do teeth decay more quickly during pregnancy?
As already mentioned, the belief that ‘during pregnancy, calcium is extracted from the teeth of the mother and therefore every baby will cost the mother one tooth’ is absolutely not true. The disruption in the balance of the body during pregnancy creates an environment suitable for the rapid decay of teeth. The reasons why teeth decay more quickly in this period are as follows: an excessive desire for sweets, junk food is manifested during the period when the baby is growing and brushing teeth after eating is neglected. The mother might be unable to maintain oral care during the first months when she has morning sickness. She might avoid brushing her teeth because her gums bleed more easily with the effect of pregnancy hormones (estrogen, progesterone). Therefore, it is necessary to pay more attention to dental health during this period.
Are there measures to be taken for the baby’s dental health?
The development of the baby’s teeth begins in the womb. During this period, the mother should pay attention to balanced nutrition for both her own health and the development of her baby’s teeth. Adequate amounts of food rich in protein for dental health, vitamin A (meat, milk, eggs, yellow vegetables and fruits) Vitamin C (citrus, tomatoes, strawberries), Vitamin D (meat, milk, eggs, fish) and calcium (dairy products, green leafy vegetables) must be consumed. In addition, inadvertent use of medication should be avoided. Any medications used may adversely affect the baby’s dental health as well as the overall physical development. Knowledge about a baby’s dental health is the first step in ensuring that your child has healthy teeth for life. Get information about a baby’s dental care and nutrition.
Will my baby’s teeth be affected by the fact that “I took antibiotics during pregnancy”?
We stated that inadvertent use of medication should be avoided during this period. However, it is wrong to believe that every antibiotic used causes staining of the baby’s teeth. The group of antibiotics that causes discoloration of teeth is “tetracyclines”. It has not been proven that other antibiotics induce discoloration.