Do Pregnant Women Go To The Dentist?

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We know, as soon as you learn that you are pregnant, your life turns upside down. There are suddenly so many things to do and so many things to think about that you didn’t really think about before.

You are now putting regular doctor visits in your calendar. You change your diet, put away the alcohol and even add or change your exercise regimen. Then, you are deciding to turn that spare bedroom into a nursery, and you need to make a list of everything you want in there, and even pick the paint color for the walls.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, we know. However, in the midst of this increased excitement and chaos, it might be easy to think about de-prioritizing certain things that had often been part of your “old,” pre-pregnancy routine. After all, there are only so many hours before the baby comes!

Does the routine dental visit count as being on the de-priority list? Might want to think twice about it.

Oral health is still important in overall well-being, and with a baby coming the mother’s well-being is even more important. But we understand there are a few concerns about going to the dentist while pregnant, so we will take a quick look at these concerns.

Do I Keep My Cleaning Schedule?

If you happen to have a scheduled dental cleaning appointment during your pregnancy, you do not need to cancel it. Oral health is crucial during pregnancy, and getting a cleaning and a check-up is no different regardless of a Baby on Board or not.

However, it is highly recommended that your dentist knows of your pregnancy before you show up for your appointment, and even alerting him as to which trimester you are in, as that will impact how he does his cleaning and check-up with you to ensure safety of the baby. Dentists, if needed, can coordinate with your doctor to ensure no issues with any current medications you’re using, and the dentist can adjust how he or she performs X-rays to ensure the radiation doesn’t affect the baby.

Should you need anesthesia, dentists have a couple different options of drugs to use that will be better for the pregnant you, should you  require some work that is beyond a normal cleaning appointment.

Are Swollen Gums an Issue?

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While not all pregnant women experience this phenomenon while pregnant, it is fairly common for gums to get swollen and irritated during pregnancy. This comes from an elevated level of pregnancy hormones in the system which creates what is known as pregnancy gingivitis.

While this generally will pass after a short while, if it does feel particularly uncomfortable, contact your dentist and he or she may take a look to make sure this is not a manifestation of something more permanent like gingivitis.  Again, make sure you communicate your pregnancy to your dentist so necessary precautions are taken to ensure safety for the baby.

Painful Teeth: Baby Bumped Down in Priority!

When it comes to dentistry and oral health, the conservative approach is always to take regular care of your mouth, even when pregnant. And this is doubly true in an emergency, where you have significant tooth pain that needs to be addressed by whatever procedure is necessary.

My tooth hurts! Make it stop!

When you’re distracted by this pain, nothing else in life matters, and you can’t let life stop. Check out these home remedies for toothache you should know.

Communication is vital, and when pregnant and facing an emergency, that goes double. If your dentist does not already know, tell him or her about the pregnancy when you call about the emergency. He or she can help you determine, through consultation with your doctor, about the best course of action – is it necessary to take care of this issue now, or can a painkiller be offered and any procedure postponed until after the birth?

The reason that question is asked is because it may be important to understand which trimester or month of pregnancy you are in at the time of the emergency, and if you are already taking medications for the pregnancy that may cause issues with any painkillers the dentist may prescribe. After all, it is all about “do no harm.”

Cosmetic Work Before the Birth?

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Cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening, has become more popular over the years, especially as procedures get more convenient. These procedures are actually the kinds that may have risks greater than the “need” for the procedure.

If you were thinking of some cosmetic work, contact your dentist about your pregnancy first and talk honestly about the procedure and understand the risks in terms of chemicals, drugs and/or instruments used and how they may impact the baby as well as your own body. As most cosmetic procedures are not needs, most dental professionals will advise you to postpone that work until after the baby is born and everyone is home and healthy.

It’ s easy to think of your teeth as a secondary health concern while pregnant, but having healthy teeth and gums is nearly as important as your overall physical health during various terms of pregnancy. You should think of your dentist as a doctor for your mouth, like you consider your specialist as your doctor for your body and the baby. Any questions or concerns about your mouth should be shared with your dentist just as much as you would ask pregnancy questions to your physician.

If you’re not sure about something, always make the call. Getting professional assurances is never a bad thing. After all, there is no manual for pregnancy (we know; we’ve checked).

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