Dental Care and Pregnancy in Prescott
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Since we just celebrated Mother’s Day, we thought it would be a good time to talk about dental care and pregnancy. If you are a first time Mom, you may be wondering if there is a risk with going to the dentist while you are pregnant. We understand your concern and assure you that the safety of you and your baby is our top priority here at Prescott Dentistry.
Pregnancy and Dental Issues
It may be surprising to learn that pregnancy actually increases your risk of gum problems. The increased levels of hormones during pregnancy can cause the gums to swell and bleed, as well as trap food, resulting in more irritation to the gums, and potentially, gingivitis. Signs of gingivitis include swelling and bleeding. Gingivitis can eventually lead to periodontitis if not treated. This occurs when the infection goes beneath the gum line, where it can subsequently damage the structures that hold your teeth securely in place. Without dental treatment, this condition can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Occasionally, women may develop lumps on their gums while pregnant. These lumps are typically painless, but they can make it harder to clean your teeth. They usually go away after the baby is born, but your dentist here at Prescott Dentistry may suggest removing the lumps if you are having trouble keeping your teeth clean because of them.
If you are throwing up frequently while pregnant, this increases your risk of dental erosion. Dental erosion is the loss of the hard, outer protective layer of your teeth caused by recurring exposure to acid.
Is it Safe to Go to the Dentist While Pregnant?
The short answer is, yes. The ADA states that dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are entirely safe. In fact, they are even more essential because of the greater possibility of bacteria and plaque leading to gingivitis. So be sure to continue with your normal biannual cleanings with us while you are pregnant.
Numerous studies have linked gum disease with preterm births and low birthweight. For this reason, the American Pregnancy Association recommends following through with dental work like filling cavities and crowns, in order to lower your risk of infection. They suggest having that work done during the second trimester if possible, as it may be hard to lie on your back for prolonged periods of time during the third trimester. Postpone any cosmetic dental work until after you give birth.
At Prescott Dentistry, we pride ourselves on providing quality, holistic dental care to you and your growing family. If you are pregnant, please let us know. We would be happy to discuss any additional concerns you may have that are related to dental care and pregnancy at your next appointment.