During pregnancy, many expectant mothers experience pregnancy gingivitis. The gums may be more red, sore, tender to touch and even bleed! Gum disease and the associated inflammation may trigger increased prostaglandin (an inflammatory protein) production. A surge in prostaglandin may induce labor, resulting in pre-term birth. Expecting mothers with periodontal disease are 7 times more likely to have premature or low birthweight babies.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
CAN I RECEIVE DENTAL TREATMENTS WHEN I'M PREGNANT?
If you can, schedule major restorative treatments before pregnancy. If dental work is required during pregnancy, it is best to complete it during your second trimester.
ARE X-RAYS SAFE?
Digital dental x-rays emit minimal doses of radiation. While taking dental x-rays, the focus is away from the uterus. X-rays are only taken if necessary.
ARE DENTAL MEDICATIONS SAFE?
Some antibiotics such as Amoxicillin are pregnancy safe. Likewise, some over-the-counter pain medicines, like acetaminophen, are widely accepted for use during pregnancy. If you have a toothache or think you may have a dental infection, it is recommended for you to visit with your dentist and obstetrician.
WHAT IS A PREGNANCY GRANULOMA?
A pregnancy granuloma is an inflamed non-cancerous growth that develops between teeth and irritated gums. These tumors are related to excessive amounts of plaque in the oral cavity. Granulomas normally go away naturally after delivery. If it is extremely irritating while you eat or brush, ask your dentist if removal is needed.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Keep your teeth clean, especially near the gum line by brushing at least twice a day and flossing. Rinse with alcohol free mouthwash. Good nutrition will also help to keep the oral cavity healthy and strong, particularly vitamin C and B12. Additionally, more frequent dental cleanings will also help control plaque levels and prevent gingivitis.