Mainly due to the hormonal changes and the eating habits that occur, since these generate changes in oral health. The risk of cavities increases due to cravings, late meals without subsequent brushing.
In addition, many women during pregnancy experience nausea and vomiting, favoring an acidic environment in the mouth, which causes a weakening of the dental tissue.
On the other hand, oral problems related to the gums are common during this stage. The hormones generate an environment that favors the increase of bacteria that affect the tooth’s gums (Pregnancy Gingivitis).
In addition, infections or inflammations in the mouth can lead to premature labor and a low-birth-weight child, putting you at higher risk for long-term complications. Research has shown that bacteria found in a pregnant woman’s mouth can be transmitted through blood and amniotic fluid, which can cause pregnancy complications.
Finally, once the child is born, the mother can infect him with her bacteria, which increases her risk of developing cavities in the future.
What care should a pregnant woman have to maintain her oral health?
An adequate diet that allows the mother and her child to nourish, reducing the consumption of foods high in sugar, especially after hours, helps to control the risk of cavities.
Regarding hygiene, extreme care should be taken with at least two daily brushings, 1500 parts per million fluoride paste, fluoride rinses, dental floss, and a soft toothbrush. It is imperative not to rinse with water after brushing, but only spit, since if they are rinsed, they lose the effect of the fluoride paste because it is diluted with water.
Due to the morning vomiting common in the first few months, some women may not brush their teeth well, as the toothbrush or toothpaste makes them more nauseous. For these cases, it may help to wait an hour after eating to brush and avoid the paste if it causes vomiting. After the period of nausea and vomiting, they can resume good hygiene.
Another change that occurs in pregnancy is dry mouth, also due to hormonal changes. Saliva is a protector of the teeth, so a good measure is to eat sugar-free gum or increase water consumption to stimulate the production of saliva.
What does dental care seek during pregnancy?
Dental care during pregnancy has a preventive approach. Mainly, it seeks to reinforce healthy habits to maintain the mother’s oral health and teach her how to take care of the oral health of the child to be born.
In addition, carry out preventive measures and detect pathologies such as cavities or gum disease to provide timely treatment. In short, it aims to educate in self-care and care of the child and seeks to recover oral health, establishing a healthy oral environment and an optimal level of oral hygiene.
The care of women during pregnancy benefits both the mother and her child improves the mother’s oral health status, and thus reduces the spread of microorganisms to her child, allowing it to be born in a favorable environment for your oral health.
In addition, information is provided to prevent cavities and oral health care for the baby from birth.
During pregnancy, can women undergo any dental treatment? Why?
Dental care for pregnant women is safe. It is much riskier for women to keep an infection in their mouth, as it can trigger premature labor. All care is done considering the discomfort of pregnancy.
It is recommended that treatment be carried out in the second trimester since in the first trimester, many women have nausea, and in the last trimester, the increase in the size of the abdomen makes it difficult to care for.
Regardless of all this, women must go for a check-up and agree with their dentist on the best time for care and the type of treatment they will receive, looking for the most appropriate and safe for them and their children.
How to Improve Oral Health during Pregnancy
- Drink fluoridated water.
- Brush your teeth and gums twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss each day.
- Make an appointment with a dentist to check the oral health status.
- Make good nutritional choices; limit sweet drinks and avoid refined sugar.
- Include Vitamin C and Calcium in your daily diet.
- Learn how to take care of the baby’s gums and teeth now
Dr. Shiva Sankar is the Clinical Director and Orthodontist at Sakti Dental Clinic, Tirunelveli with over 18+ years of experience in dentistry. He is also a Professor in the Department of Orthodontics, Rajas Dental College affiliated to, Dr.MGR Medical University. Dr. Shiva Sankar frequently publishes research papers in leading scientific national and international journals.