Dental Care: Before, During and After Pregnancy

The health needs of women are unique in various phases of their lives. In specific times women do need to take extra care of themselves, especially  when they mature and change; for example, puberty or menopause, when they have special health needs, such as menstruation or pregnancy..

Did you know that a woman’s oral health needs also change at these times?

This is because hormonal fluctuations throughout a woman’s life can affect many tissues, including gum tissue. Hence women need to be cautious about their Oral Health and be meticulous while brushing and flossing every day in order to prevent gum disease.

Before Pregnancy

pre-pregnancy-health

  • Menstruation: In some women, gums swell and bleed prior to their periods, while others experience cold sores or canker sores. These symptoms usually go away once your period starts.
  • Oral contraceptives: Inflamed gums are one of the most common side effects.
  • Dental care before pregnancy includes the appointment with dentist to make the diagnosis of whole oral conditions.
  • One should have proper dental treatments like filling of teeth, extraction etc .
  • Keep a check on your Oral Hygiene by visiting your dentist often.

During Pregnancy

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Dental care is the most required thing when you are pregnant. In pregnancy women have go through a lot of conditions like having frequent meals, hormonal changes etc. During this time of pregnancy one can have the ability to undergo many of the gum diseases so dental care is the one that is more significant and appreciable in this period of time.
During pregnancy the dental care matters a lot. One should have proper hygiene methods to avoid the gum diseases during pregnancy.

Some of the points regarding dental care during pregnancy are:

  • Once you have booked in for your antenatal care, tell your dentist that you are pregnant. As a precautionary measure, dental treatments during the first trimester (up to 12 weeks) and second half of the third trimester (the last 6 to 8 weeks) should be avoided as much as possible. These are critical times in the baby’s growth and development and it’s simply wise to avoid exposing the mother to procedures that could in any way influence this. However, routine dental care can be received during the second trimester. All elective dental procedures should be postponed until after the delivery.
  • Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all medications you are taking – including medications and vitamins such as folic acid – as well as any specific medical advice your Physician of Gynecologist has given you. Your dentist may need to alter your dental treatment plan based on this information. Certain drugs — for example, antibiotic tetracycline — can affect the development of your child’s teeth and should not be given during the pregnancy.
  • Avoid dental X-rays during pregnancy. If X-rays are essential (such as in a dental emergency), your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby. Most dental X-rays don’t affect the abdomen.
  • Dentists are advised by the Department of Health that they should avoid putting in – or removing – amalgam (silver) fillings during pregnancy as a precautionary measure.
  • Avoid mouthwash containing alcohol
  • Don’t skip your dental check-up appointment simply because you are pregnant. Now more than at any other time, regular periodontal (gum) examinations are very important because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk of periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist or periodontist as soon as possible.
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce oral health problems.

After Pregnancy

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  • After pregnancy the dental care requires proper appointment with dentist so as to check whether any treatment is required or not. During pregnancy most of the women have the chances of having pregnancy gingivitis, which if not treated at an early stage can lead to periodontitis and thus can affect the teeth.

So proper dental care before, during and after pregnancy is being highly demanded.

  • Menopause: Oral symptoms experienced during this stage of a women’s life include red or inflamed gums, oral pain and discomfort, burning sensations, altered taste sensations and dry mouth.
  • Osteoporosis: Some studies have suggested that there is a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. This may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports teeth may be decreased. When combined with gum disease, osteoporosis speeds up the process of bone loss around the teeth.

Remember, by seeing your dentist on a regular basis and following daily good oral hygiene practices at home, you are more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

The Indian Dental Association wishes all the adorable ladies a very

 “Happy International Women’s Day”

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