Why Pregnant Women Need Dental Care Dentist Wyoming, MI

Pregnant women need to get dental care because pregnancy hormones and morning sickness can affect oral health. Going to the dentist while pregnant is safe and also recommended by the American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. While we understand being concerned for the health of your unborn child, skipping your appointment or ignoring tooth pain can do more harm than good. During pregnancy, added dental concerns such as pregnancy gingivitis or pregnancy tumors may occur as well. Continue reading to learn why a trip to the dentist is perfectly safe, and a great thing to do when pregnant.

Dental Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Let our dentist know if you’re pregnant or suspect you might be. We take extra precautions during your dentist appointment to ensure the safety of you and your unborn child. For example, we may postpone certain dental procedures if you have a high-risk pregnancy. 

While a dental exam and teeth cleaning are safe at any point during your pregnancy, you’ll want to avoid major procedures during the first trimester. However, your dentist may recommend urgent dental care for an abscessed tooth or other oral health emergencies where there is a risk of infection.

During pregnancy, we are still able to take some dental x-rays. The radiation from dental x-rays is perfectly safe for you and the baby and allows our dentist to see what is happening inside your mouth. Just to be safe, we will also use a lead blanket to ensure your baby is protected. 

We share your concern for a healthy pregnancy, which is why we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

How Does Morning Sickness Relate to Tooth Decay?

Morning sickness often means throwing up. It sucks, but it’s a process. Cleaning your teeth at home will help, but when you vomit, the stomach acid wears away the natural enamel on your teeth. 

The wearing away of enamel and constant exposure to stomach acids can result in early tooth decay, especially if left untreated by a professional. 

As a result, you may develop sensitive teeth or cavities during pregnancy. Each pregnancy is different. If you’re having oral health issues, our dentist will be able to determine if morning sickness plays a role.

In general, we recommend you wait 30 minutes after vomiting to brush your teeth. That way, your tooth enamel has enough time to recover after being exposed to stomach acid. It’s okay to rinse your mouth out right away.

Avoid brushing your teeth hard. Brushing harder doesn’t make your teeth cleaner, it actually wears away your enamel faster. 

Hormonal Changes and Gingivitis Due to Pregnancy

Pregnancy hormones can increase your risk of early gum disease (gingivitis), especially during the second trimester. 

If your gums are bleeding, swollen, or sore, you’re not alone. According to WebMD.com, 40% of pregnant women develop gingivitis. Likewise, if you already had gum disease before pregnancy, you may notice your symptoms getting worse. 

Pregnancy gingivitis is caused by hormone fluctuations that increase blood flow to your gums. These hormones may also affect your body’s ability to fight dental plaque, which can lead to an increase in tartar. 

Because pregnant women are at an increased risk for gum disease, it’s important to continue seeing the dentist. We’ll be able to help you mitigate the effects of pregnancy gingivitis so you can maintain good oral health.

Oral Tumors Due to Pregnancy 

During pregnancy, you may experience an overgrowth in “tissue” within your gums, especially during the second trimester. 

You may panic and think cancer right away, but this is often never the case. These tumors typically form because of excess plaque in your mouth and have an extremely raw appearance to them. They bleed easily and can be annoying, but they usually go away after pregnancy. 

If you experience a dental tumor like this in your mouth, we’ll be happy to take a look at it. In some cases, we are able to remove it to give you a little more comfort during your pregnancy. 

Are You Pregnant and Need to See a Dentist? 

Dr. Helmus DDS and his team are dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health by providing preventive dentistry services. To schedule your appointment with our Wyoming MI dentist, feel free to call River Ridge Dentistry at (616) 538-7320 or request an appointment with us online.