Pregnancy is a special time: estrogen effects the female body. Also, this change is noticeable in the teeth and gums. During pregnancy you should pay special attention to the optimal dental care. Find out in the text below what you need to pay attention to in terms of oral hygiene, and when to visit the dentist during pregnancy.
Good dental care during pregnancy protects your teeth and your unborn child
The expression “One child – one tooth” is no longer true in today’s world. Pregnant women should pay special attention to their oral health.
How does pregnancy affect your teeth and gums?
The hormonal change causes loss of the connecting tissue and widening of blood vessels throughout the body. Also, this consequence affects gums. As a result, bacteria have easier access to the gums than what makes pregnant women more exposed to gum inflammation. The inflammation is then called pregnancy gingivitis.
Also, many pregnant women suffer from nausea and vomiting. The stomach acid attacks the enamel and weakens it. This makes it more susceptible to tooth decay. Especially in the last third of pregnancy, women eat many small sugary meals. This behavior increases the risk of tooth decay.
Brushing your teeth regularly and cleaning the interdental spaces will protect you from caries and gum disease.
Poor oral hygiene can seriously affect your child’s health
Good oral hygiene is important during pregnancy. Scientific studies have shown that bacteria that cause inflammation in the gums can increase the risk of premature birth. They have also found it that diseases of the periodontal apparatus (periodontitis) can be associated with underweight in newborns.
But even after birth, your teeth and those of your child should be healthy. Therefore, keep in mind that tooth decay is an infectious disease that can be transmitted to your child by licking a pacifier.
Dental care during pregnancy
1. go to regular check-ups
Dentists recommend two preventive examinations during pregnancy.
2. use fluoride toothpaste
You should also use fluoride toothpaste for dental care and fluoridate your teeth with a fluoride gel once a week. Especially if you suffer from nausea, fluoridation is important.
The fluoride repairs the enamel that has been damaged by stomach acid. A mouth rinse containing fluoride provides a better taste in case of nausea and strengthens the tooth enamel.
3. clean the spaces between your teeth
To keep your gums healthy, clean the interdental spaces every day. Dental floss and interdental brushes are ideal for this. Daily cleaning prevents the bacteria from penetrating the hormonally swollen gums. As prophylaxis, also go for professional teeth cleaning at least once during pregnancy.
A low-sugar diet, sugar-free chewing gums, and drinking enough water will additionally protect your teeth.
Checklist: Dental care for expectant mothers
Pay attention to the following during your pregnancy to keep your teeth healthy:
brush your teeth at least twice a day
use a fluoride gel once a week
use fluoride toothpaste
clean interdental spaces
use a fluoride mouth rinse
pay attention to a low-sugar diet
drink enough water
have two preventive medical checkups performed
use at least one professional dental cleaning
Dental treatment during pregnancy
If possible, pregnant women should not undergo extensive dental treatment. However, sometimes it may be important to ease the symptoms.
They can also treat serious caries during pregnancy. However, since July 2018, amalgam fillings may no longer be used in pregnant women. Here, the statutory health insurance pays for plastic as filling material.
Small caries, which do not cause pain, should be clarified. However, it can often be treated after birth.
Pregnancy gingivitis treatment
We should treat gum inflammation or periodontitis in any case. These complaints occur frequently during pregnancy and their treatment is usually uncomplicated.
If you, as an expectant mother, repeatedly observe bleeding gums, please consult your dentist. Periodontal germs are suspected to cause premature births and low birth weight.
Treatment of gum infection
In rare cases, minor gum proliferations occur besides bleeding gums, inflammation of the gums, or caries. These are well supplied with blood and start bleeding quickly when brushing your teeth. Gum growths are hormonal. They occur despite regular dental care and are almost always harmless. For safety reasons, have your dentist assess them.
Anesthesia and X-ray
Pain treatments can be performed under local anesthesia. After consultation with the personal gynecologist, there is usually no risk to the unborn child.
Because of the protective measures taken, the radiation exposure during the X-ray of the teeth is comparatively low. X-ray images should be taken if they are necessary for the treatment.
Medication during pregnancy
You should always consult your gynecologist about taking medication. Some medications can have effects on the child. Especially antibiotics and painkillers should not be used without precaution.
The intake of antibiotics
If it is necessary to take an antibiotic during pregnancy, discuss this with your doctor and gynecologist. Some medications can damage your child, while others can cause dark spots on the child’s teeth.
Pregnant women should also be careful when taking painkillers.
If the mother takes ibuprofen in the first 28 weeks of pregnancy, they consider it safe. After that, ibuprofen can cause kidney damage and the occlusion of an important vessel in the child’s heart. Expectant mothers should avoid aspirin unless otherwise prescribed, as it increases the risk of bleeding. In addition, like ibuprofen, it can lead to the occlusion of an important vessel in the child’s heart in the last trimester of pregnancy. The painkiller of choice which, according to Embryotox, poses the least risk to mother and child is paracetamol. You should consult your gynecologist before taking it.