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dental tips to follow before during and post pregnancy

By Dr. Aastha Chandra

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Dental Tips To Follow Before, During and Post Pregnancy.

Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that boost the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby. 

Below are some tips to help you maintain good oral health before, during, and post pregnancy.

Before You Get Pregnant

Try visiting your dentist before you get pregnant. A professional clean up can be performed and also the gum condition and any other oral health problem can be assessed and treated in advance.

Dental Care While Pregnant

Do not forget to inform your dentist if you are pregnant. Even though elective procedures should be postponed to after the delivery, routine dental procedures and emergency procedures can be conducted during the first and third trimester. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if they have any special precautions/instructions for you.

Give the dentist your complete medical history including the names and dosages of the medications you are taking.

Dental X-rays, if required, can be performed using special shields for your thyroid and abdomen.

Forty percent of women will develop pregnancy gingivitis sometime during their pregnancy. If you already have significant gum disease, being pregnant can make it worse. Talk to your dentist if you notice any tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling.

Good oral hygiene practices, which include brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day, and using an antimicrobial mouth rinse are extremely important now.

If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, change to a bland-tasting toothpaste during pregnancy and rinse your mouth with water or a mouth rinse if you have bouts of vomiting

Sweet cravings are common during pregnancy. However, keep in mind that the more frequently you have sugary snacks, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby’s first teeth begin to develop about 3 months into pregnancy. Healthy diets containing dairy products, cheese, and yogurt are a good source of these essential minerals and are good for baby’s developing teeth, gums, and bones.

Sometimes a large lump with deep red pinpoint markings on it forms on inflamed gum tissue, usually near the upper gum line. This may sometimes bleed and crust over which can make eating and speaking difficult. These growths are called pregnancy tumors (a.k.a pyogenic granuloma/ granuloma of pregnancy/ lobular capillary hemangioma/ pregnancy epulis) and can occur at any time during the course of pregnancy, although they usually occur during the second trimester. The tumors occur in up to 10% of pregnant women and often in women who also have pregnancy gingivitis.

Despite the name ”tumor”, these growths are not cancerous and can’t spread. It is an extreme inflammatory reaction to a local irritation (such as food particles or plaque). 

Pregnancy tumors usually disappear on their own after the baby’s birth. However, if the tumor interferes with eating, your dentist or a specialist may choose to remove it. This involves a simple procedure performed under local anesthesia. Even if the tumor is removed during pregnancy, it redevelops in about half the cases.

After You’ve Had Your Baby

If you had any gum problems during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have a full oral health check.

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