As it turns out, going to the dentist while pregnant is beneficial for not only the mother-to-be but for the unborn baby as well.
Over the years, it has been proven that oral health is a good indicator of a person’s overall health. If there are signs of infection or excessive amounts of plaque and decay, many times there is an underlying health issue that is contributing to the declining state of the mouth.
While pregnant, women wonder if it is safe for them to visit a dentist. Between the types of toothpaste and fluoride used, as well as the x-rays that are taken, many expectant mothers might put off seeing their dentist until after their baby is born. And while there may be better times than others during pregnancy to see the dentist, overall, not only is it safe to see a dentist while pregnant, not seeing one could be detrimental to a mother-to-be’s health.
Changes In Mouth Chemistry
When a woman becomes pregnant, one of the things that can suffer, especially during the first trimester is good oral hygiene. This is because hormones are ever-changing, not to mention first-trimester nausea and vomiting that can cause a breakdown of enamel. According to American Dental Association, this means that cavities and gum disease are increased.
These conditions can be exacerbated by the fact that expectant mothers can develop bleeding gums, known as pregnancy gingivitis or pregnancy tumors, which can occur during the second trimester. According to the American Dental Association, if bleeding or swollen gums are left untreated, they can quickly lead to issues of decay in the mouth.
Another change to the mouth during pregnancy is dry mouth. Dry mouth is a leading factor in cavities, which, if a woman is eating more sweets or is unable to use toothpaste as a result of nausea, are likely to crop up during her pregnancy. Therefore, drinking lots of water, chewing sugar-free gum, or even chewing on ice chips during pregnancy is helpful when it comes to keeping dry mouth at bay during pregnancy, according to Healthline.
The amount of radiation that comes from getting dental x-rays is “extremely low,” according to the American Dental Association. It is, however, important to let the dentist know that one is pregnant so that extra safety precautions can be put into place while getting the x-rays. While not all dental offices require a leaded apron to be used by patients, when a woman is pregnant, it should be. This will protect the unborn baby by covering the baby bump and the thyroid of the mother-to-be will also be covered to protect from thyroid cancer.
Many dental offices have moved away from the older, more traditional x-rays in favor of digital x-rays. These x-rays use but a fraction of the amount of radiation the older ones used. However, it is still recommended a leaded apron be used to keep the pregnant woman and her little one as safe as possible.
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