Perhaps you’ve avoided the dentist during your pregnancy because family or friends have told you that it’s not safe. Or perhaps you are just so wrapped up in the excitement of your soon-to-arrive baby that your dental care has fallen by the wayside.
While we understand the temptation to put off those dental visits until after your baby is born — after all, you have a crib to assemble, diapers and clothing to buy, and so many trips to the OB! — the truth is that seeking professional dental care to maintain your oral health while you’re expecting is not only safe, it’s critically important.
If you are expecting or plan to become pregnant soon, don’t neglect your oral health. Schedule a checkup at Nashua Family Dentistry through our online form or call our Nashua, NH office at 603-546-7460.
How Pregnancy Affects Oral Health
It’s important to visit the dentist every six months even if you’re not expecting, of course, but pregnant women are actually more prone to certain oral-health problems so regular checkups are absolutely critical. Here are a few dental issues that are of particular concern when baby’s on the way:
- As you’re surely aware, your body is experiencing drastic hormonal changes during this time, causing food cravings and aversions, a heightened sense of smell, and nausea among other symptoms. Those pregnancy hormones may also affect your gums, leading to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Your gums may become inflamed, swollen, and tender. They may bleed while you brush or floss. Left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis may lead to more serious periodontitis. To stave off gum problems, be sure to get your folic acid and come in for regular professional cleanings.
- Due to a number of reasons, you may be at a higher risk of tooth decay during pregnancy. If morning sickness is causing you to throw up, your teeth are being exposed to more destructive acids than usual. Nausea may also affect your gag reflex and ability to brush and floss thoroughly. And cravings may have you eating more carbs and sweets, which are what cavity-causing bacteria love to feast on.
- Sometimes, especially during the 2nd trimester, a lump of tissue may appear on the gums. These “pregnancy tumors” are not cancerous, but may bleed.
Nashua Family Dentistry Will Keep Your Mouth Healthy During Pregnancy
While you’re expecting, it’s important to visit us for regular cleanings and exams. We understand that you may be worried about how certain procedures may affect the health of your unborn baby, and we are happy to discuss all of your questions and concerns with you.
Many of our patients are particularly fearful that dental X-rays and anesthesia may be harmful during pregnancy. The ADA says both are safe. Today’s X-rays actually use very little radiation, and your abdomen should be protected by a lead apron. And if you need certain procedures requiring anesthesia, it may be unsafe to wait until after the baby’s born.