Dental Care During Pregnancy

How does pregnancy affect oral health?

Apart from the fact that there are some changes in oral health during pregnancy, it is a misconception that the mother will lose a tooth with each pregnancy. The most important change is an increase in plaque build-up on the teeth due to the increase in hormone levels. If plaque is not removed, it can cause gingivitis. This condition is called "pregnancy gingivitis". The gums are red, increased in volume, tender and bleeding. If gingivitis is already present, it can increase in severity during pregnancy and can progress to periodontitis if left untreated. For this reason, teeth should be brushed at least twice a day and, if possible, after every meal. All teeth should also be flossed every day. Regular dental check-ups should also not be neglected.

Pregnant women are also at risk of developing "pregnancy tumors". These are inflammatory lesions caused by irritation of gingival growths. Although they are usually left untreated, they should be removed by the dentist if they cause discomfort or interfere with chewing, brushing and other oral care procedures. Controlling plaque also reduces gingival irritation and the risk of pregnancy tumors.

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Are there any procedures that should not be done during pregnancy?

Although it is generally thought that no dental procedures should be performed during pregnancy or very urgent procedures can be performed; many non-urgent treatments can also be performed during pregnancy.

However, the best time for any dental treatment is between the 4th and 6th months of pregnancy. In emergency cases accompanied by severe pain, treatment can be performed at any time during pregnancy. In cases requiring anesthesia and medication, the gynecologist should be contacted.

Procedures that can be postponed should be left until after delivery.

Are dental x-rays harmful during pregnancy?

During this period, the temporary resolution of complaints related to dental problems can be done without X-rays, and the actual treatment can be left until after delivery. It is not appropriate to take a film to follow the stages of dental treatment (root canal treatment, etc.). If necessary, unsuccessful treatments should be repeated after delivery.

The approach may be different in important cases where the general health of the mother is at stake. In cases where X-rays are unavoidable for diagnosis, although the amount of radiation given in dental X-rays is very low and not too close to the abdomen, a lead apron must be worn to prevent the developing baby from receiving radiation.

Do teeth decay more quickly during pregnancy?

As mentioned earlier, the belief that "calcium is withdrawn from the mother's teeth during pregnancy and therefore each baby will cause the mother to lose a tooth" is absolutely not true.

The disruption of the balance in the body during pregnancy creates an environment suitable for rapid tooth decay.

The reasons why teeth decay more quickly during this period are as follows;

∙ Excessive cravings for sweets and junk food during the period when the baby is being fed and tooth brushing is neglected after eating these foods

∙ After vomiting in the first months, the mother may not pay enough attention to oral care.

∙ With the effect of pregnancy hormones (estrogen, progertron), the gums bleed more easily and the mother avoids brushing her teeth. For these reasons, it is necessary to pay more attention to dental health during this period.

Are there any precautions to be taken for the baby's dental health?

The baby's tooth development starts in the uterus. During this period, the mother should pay attention to a balanced diet for both her own health and her baby's dental development. For dental health, foods rich in protein, vitamin A (meat, milk, eggs, yellow vegetables and fruits), vitamin C (citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries), vitamin D (meat, milk, eggs, fish) and calcium (milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables) should be taken sufficiently. In addition, unconscious use of medication should be avoided. In addition to the dental health of the baby, the medicines used may also negatively affect the general body development. Being knowledgeable about your baby's dental health is the first step in ensuring that your child has healthy teeth for life.

Will my baby's teeth be affected if I use antibiotics while pregnant?

We have already mentioned that unconscious drug use should be avoided during this period. However, it is wrong to think that every antibiotic used causes staining of the baby's teeth. The group of antibiotics that cause tooth discoloration are "tetracyclines". Other antibiotics have not been proven to cause staining.