Are you planning and preparing on becoming pregnant?
A comprehensive dental check up must be on your checklist before becoming pregnant! The reason is simple, we want to enter pregnancy with a healthy body and healthy mind.
A comprehensive dental check up allows the dentist to pick up any problem with our teeth/gum and perform necessary treatments to prevent further dental complications during pregnancy. The dentist can also give advice on how to maintain oral health during pregnancy in order to reduce the risk of pregnancy related oral problems.
Can I still attend a routine dental visit during pregnancy?
Yes, you can and you should! Routine dental visits are strongly recommended for your own well being and that of your unborn child due to the following reasons.
Pregnancy related gum disease
Natural hormone changes during pregnancy which makes the gum more sensitive to bacterial/plaque found on our teeth. Many women develop gum disease during pregnancy and if the disease becomes severe enough it may affect an unborn baby’s development. Studies have shown that gum disease can increase the risk of premature birth and/or low birth weight baby and associated long-term health risks for the baby.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Noticeable gum bleeding when brushing/flossing teeth
- Inflamed/swollen/sore gum
- Bad breath Professional dental cleaning to reduce the amount of bacteria and re-inforce oral hygiene instructions.
- Professional dental cleaning to reduce the amount of bacteria and re-inforce oral hygiene instructions.
Morning sickness and dental erosion
Dental erosion is the irreversible loss of the outer tooth layer due to exposure to acid. Pregnant women experiencing vomiting/acid reflux due to morning sickness are at increased risk of dental erosion. Teeth with prolonged exposure to acid will become sensitive.
Tips to reduce dental erosion during pregnancy:
- Rinse mouth with water immediately after acid reflux/vomiting. Besure to wait at least 30 min
- utes before brushing teeth to avoid damaging the softened tooth layer.
- Smear a thin layer of toothpaste over your teeth to prevent sensitivity and reduce loss of tooth layer
- Chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva production to buffer the acid.
Emergency dental treatment during pregnancy
If I have toothache during pregnancy, can I have root canal treatment?
Toothache can be extremely painful, because the nerve is damaged or a tooth is infected. Root canal can be performed at any stage of pregnancy to stop the pain and/or the spread of infection.
Can I get a tooth pulled out during pregnancy?
When you are experiencing severe toothache and/or having a tooth infection and the tooth can not be saved, the tooth can be pulled out during pregnancy. The dentist will decide the best timing and setting for the procedure to be carried out.
Can I take X-rays?
Modern dental x-rays are of very low doses of radiation and should not cause any adverse effect on your baby. Dentists will choose to take the most suitable type of x-ray that gives the most accurate diagnostic information of your tooth and ensure you receive the lowest dose of radiation possible. Additionally, your dentist will also place a protective cover over your belly to protect your baby.
Can I have local anaesthetic ?
Local anaesthetic can be safely used and will help you to relax during certain dental procedures. The lowest concentration of anaesthesia will be used to make you feel relaxed which will minimise the stressful stimulus placed on your body and your unborn baby.