Pregnancy and Dental Care:
Pregnant mothers have unique concerns when it comes to dental care. Failure to maintain optimal oral health care during this sensitive time could have grave consequences for you and your child.
During pregnancy, your teeth and gums are more susceptible to bacterial infections due to increased hormone levels. It is vital to properly care for your teeth before, during and after pregnancy to safeguard your oral health. Maintaining excellent oral health will lower your risk of pregnancy complications.
Oral Health Problems Associated with Pregnancy:
There are a number of oral health problems associated with pregnancy. Usually, these conditions can be prevented through proper oral hygiene practices and maintain your dental cleanings.
Pregnancy Gingivitis: Pregnancy gingivitis the most frequent dental problem affecting women during pregnancy. It is caused when bacteria become trapped in between your teeth and gum tissue. The gum tissue can become more “puffy” with the increased hormone levels of the mom. The increased size of the gum tissue makes cleaning the bacteria more difficult.
Signs of Pregnancy Gingivitis include:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
Maintain your dental cleaning appointments during your pregnancy. If you have any of the above symptoms then make an appointment for Dr. Nugent to evaluate your gum tissue. It is extremely important the pregnancy gingivitis does not develop into periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease (gum disease) can develop as a result of untreated gingivitis. This is a very bad bacterial infectious state that leads to the destruction of bone and surrounding gum tissue. Furthermore, your immune system is kicked into overdrive trying to fight the bacterial infection.
Signs of Periodontal Disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Inflamed gums
- Tender gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Pus along the gums
- Change in bite
- The sensation of loose teeth
- Spaces between teeth
A huge problem of Periodontal disease is that it can also be asymptomatic (producing no visible effects) while causing destruction of your gum tissue and supporting bone structure.
The risk of periodontal disease during pregnancy also poses an increased threat for low birth weight pre-term labor babies. Pregnant women who notice changes in their gum tissue should call our office immediately.
Pregnancy and Dental Visits:
In the second trimester, it is important that expecting women have a dental check up and professional dental cleaning. Dental care during pregnancy should be reserved to that of a routine nature. Aggressive restorative and elective cosmetic procedures should be avoided.
However, if you have an urgent dental problem (toothache, massive decay or infection around your tooth) then emergency dental care is needed. The risk of untreated major dental problems is too great. A dental infection can spread throughout your body and can cause systemic problems for both mother and baby.
Dental X-rays only produce a very small amount of radiation. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends X-rays for pregnant women. The extremely small radiation is inconsequentially compared to the need for a disease free oral condition.
Dental Treatments to Avoid During Pregnancy:
Elective Dental Work: Cosmetic dental procedures are avoided until after the birth of the child. Small decay areas are often left alone and treated after childbirth.
Dr. Nugent is a Family Dentist serving Pasadena, Deer Park, La Porte, Friendswood and League City. Get the best dental care for you entire family at our office. Dr. Nugent is dedicated to providing quality dental care. Dr. Nugent has been voted BEST PASADENA TEXAS DENTIST multiple times.
Call us today at 713-941-8261 to become a new patient. Visit us at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas 77504.