Oral health care while pregnant
Incisive BiteSunday, August 15, 2021
by Dr Sharon Robinson
DURING pregnancy, oral health care is often neglected. However, this is actually one of the most crucial times for the proper management of oral health care.
Some pregnant women, too, may wonder what, if any, dental procedures might do harm. Let's explore pregnancy gingivitis and some do's and don'ts for dental procedures while expecting.
This occurs when women who are pregnant develop gingivitis due to there being an increase in the level of the hormone progesterone, which allows for an increase in the level of plaque build-up.
Signs of pregnancy gingivitis can be inflamed gums, bleeding gums, and changes in the colour of the gums, just to list a few. If you or a family member/friend develop these signs while pregnant, don't hesitate to have them checked out.
Pregnancy gingivitis can be managed by receiving dental cleaning within the first, second and third trimester. It can also be managed by using anti-gingivitis toothpaste and anti-gingivitis mouthwash, brushing twice daily using a soft toothbrush, and flossing once daily after brushing. Also, the person who develops pregnancy gingivitis is prone to acquiring pyogenic granuloma, which is a non-cancerous tumour that is vascular and appears within the anterior portions of the mouth, generally located above the teeth that are anteriorly positioned.
Contributors to the development of pyogenic granuloma can be the hormones progesterone and oestrogen. Pyogenic granuloma usually stays for three months after appearance and then goes away on its own. However, if it does prolong beyond six months, it is possible to go to the dentist to have it removed.
Another area of focus is gestational diabetes. This is when pregnant women acquire diabetes. It is important to note that receiving dental care during this period is imperative, especially when it comes to your dental cleaning and having a chronic periodontal infection, as it can make it harder to control diabetes.
Dental procedures during pregnancy
Certain dental procedures are often neglected during pregnancy due to myths. So, check out these dental procedures that can be done if you are pregnant:
1. Dental X-rays
Dental X-rays can be taken during pregnancy, however, it should be avoided during the first trimester and the second half of the third trimester. Note, though, that X-rays are now evolving to a digital format, which entails little radiation and makes it even safer for them to be taken.
Extractions are a major concern during pregnancy. It is important to note that if the tooth is in bad condition and sometimes unbearable, it is only feasible to have an extraction done within the second trimester. As it pertains to being numb, specific anaesthesia that is not as aggressive but still effective is given.
3. Dental cleaning
This is the most important procedure that should never be neglected while pregnant. Having your dental cleaning done while pregnant is safe and very important, as it can help with the prevention of pregnancy gingivitis, as stated previously.
Getting fillings done during pregnancy is completely safe. The procedure can be done at any time during pregnancy, however, receiving amalgam fillings can/should be avoided because amalgam fillings contain mercury, which is not healthy.
Dr Sharon Robinson, DDS has offices at Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 876-630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa.
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