Pregnancy Dental Care
I'm Dr. Sweta Bajaj. I'm a dentist and also a Childbirth and Lactation Educator.
- There are several dental problems which arise in pregnancy. Gingivitis is a common problem which happens because increased estrogen and leads to increased bacterial growth. The symptoms of gingivitis are red and swollen gums and it occurs mostly during 2nd month.
- Excessive vomiting and acidity can also corrode teeth and cause pyogenic granuloma.
- Another oral problem is xerostomia which is dryness of the mouth.
How to care for mouth and teeth:
- Contrary to instinct, do not brush or rinse mouth immediately after vomiting. Wait for a few minutes to let the nausea subside. Mouth is a window. It it's unclean then bacteria can pass to foetus. Rinse mouth after every meal. Brush teeth twice properly. Water fluoridation occurs when the amount of fluoride your body gets exposed to is less/more. If the amount is less it can cause caries (cavities). If it's more, then it can cause dental decay of mother and baby.
- Avoid getting any dental treatment done during pregnancy. If it's urgent then consult your gynaecologist.
- If you have gestational diabetes then inform your dentist. During this period your diet should be according to diabetes management program. Inform your dentist if you have blood pressure before beginning any treatment. If you are undergoing a dental procedure during pregnancy then local anaesthesia does not harm the baby.
- However, avoid surgical and general treatments during pregnancy as it could lead to excessive bleeding.
Moving on to the Q&A
What can I do if my teeth are stained yellow?
No dental treatment is required. Rinse mouth in warm water and brush properly.
I'm 7 months pregnant and have pain in teeth.
Visit your dentist to find the cause. If treatment is urgent then your dentist will advise you otherwise you can wait till after delivery.
What is the cost of permanent teeth replacement?
There are two types of replacements-bridge and implants. The cost of both varies according to region and type.
I'm 7 months pregnant and have severe cough and cold with body pain.
Take tulsi water to relieve throat pain. Consult your gynaecologist.
I'm 7 months pregnant and have pain in tooth. Can root canal be done?
Root canal is a very long process with many sittings required along with anaesthesia and X-ray. While local anaesthesia isn't harmful, x-rays are dangerous during pregnancy. Inform your doctor of your pregnancy. I wouldn't recommend the procedure.
How long after delivery can dental scaling be done?
After 2-3 months.
I'm 7 months pregnant and have pain in wisdom tooth.
It is safe in third trimester to undergo minor treatment. Visit your dentist. It is common during pregnancy. Due to hormonal changes the tooth tries to break the surface. Consult your dentist for painkillers.
What should I do if I have mild bleeding gums?
It is quite common. Gargle with warm water and brush teeth twice a day.
How do I treat cavities and yellow stain?
Wait till delivery. You can get it treated by dentist after delivery. However get it checked by dentist. If the cavity is advanced then urgent treatment may be required.
I'm 3 months pregnant and have pain in teeth.
It happens due to hormonal changes. Visit dentist and take prescribed medicine. Avoid treatment till post delivery.
I'm 14 weeks pregnant and have pain in tooth in which root canal had been done previously.
Dentist cannot do x-ray or intensive treatment till after delivery. Get a prescription for painkillers.
I'm 15 weeks pregnant and have pain in teeth after eating.
If food particles get stuck in teeth while eating then pain is experienced. Rinse and brush mouth properly. If pain is unbearable then visit dentist.
I'm 9 weeks pregnant. Can I get tooth filling done?
It can till after delivery.
I'm experiencing dental pain even while drinking water.
This type of pain is experienced due to chipping off of enamel or root deep caries. Gargle with warm water and consult dentist.
If I remove wisdom tooth can it affect my vision?
No not at all. If you are not pregnant then you can go ahead and extract it?
I'm in 2nd trimester. Can I do scaling?
It is a safe period but avoid as it is not emergency.
I'm 6 weeks pregnant. My first baby is 16 months. Can I continue breastfeeding?
Yes, but ensure to increase your calorie intake and drink lots of water.
My lower left wisdom tooth area is painful.
In pregnancy, the third molars become active. Every part of body changes due to increased progesterone and estrogen levels. Molars inside gum start erupting. Gargle with warm water. Visit dentist for some pain relief. Depending on the situation extraction may be required post delivery.
Can dental x-ray be done during pregnancy?
Not only dental x-ray but any x-ray should be avoided. If it's urgent then an x-ray shield should be used to protect foetus. In general x-ray is harmful for mother and baby during pregnancy.
Can dental problems of mother affect the baby?
If gums are infected with puss then it could pass to baby through blood. Treat major infections. Most dental pains subside after delivery. During pregnancy and Lactation, certain treatments must be avoided. If you are planning for a pregnancy then both partners should inform their dentist before undergoing any dental treatment. A pregnant woman shouldn't go into the treatment room even while accompanying others especially to the x-ray room.
I'm 6 months pregnant. I had a tooth filling done in the initial weeks when I hadn't realized I was pregnant. Can it affect the baby?
Filling won't affect the baby. Only x-ray is harmful.
I'm 5 months pregnant and have swollen gums.
If it's severe then visit dentist. Always inform your dentist if you have high blood pressure, sugar or any other issues.
Are severe headaches connected to tooth issues?
Sometimes due to erupting molars headache is experienced. This type of pain is called referred pain and can be experienced in eyes, ears, neck and head.
I'm allergic to latex. Can I still undergo treatment?
Inform your dentist about your allergy. Latex free gloves can be used while treatments. Allergies can flare up during pregnancy. Before undergoing any treatment take adequate antibiotics to prevent pathogenic conditions.
Also read: Natural Ways For Skin Care During Pregnancy