Pregnancy and your dental health

If you are an expectant mother, it’s more important than ever to visit a DFW dental office. When you get the good news, one of your first calls (after notifying all of your friends and family, of course) should be to the dentist.

Hormonal changes make moms-to-be more likely to develop gum disease. In turn, gum disease increases their risk of pregnancy complications. Research has linked periodontal disease to an increased likelihood of pre-eclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy, premature delivery and low birth weight.

Dentists can identify problems with the gums and offer treatment to protect your pregnancy. Additionally, a dental cleaning can help reduce the amount of oral bacteria that promote gum disease.

A professional dental cleaning is important during pregnancy to reduce the risk of gum disease, but the timing must be right. Avoid cleanings during the first trimester and in the last several weeks of the third trimester. The best time to schedule a cleaning during your pregnancy is in the second trimester.

Although routine dental care is important, there is one procedure to avoid: radiography. Hold off on the x-rays until a post-pregnancy visit to protect your precious cargo from potential radiation exposure. The risk is minimal, but the adage “better safe than sorry” certainly applies in this case.

Of course, you will need to supplement the dental care you get in the office with good oral hygiene habits at home. Be extra vigilant about brushing and flossing during your pregnancy. You may even want to add an alcohol-free mouthwash as an additional bacteria-fighting tactic.

Your dentist can also make dietary recommendations that will help enhance the health of your baby’s developing teeth. For example, adding dairy foods like cheese and yogurt will help make the baby’s teeth stronger.

If you are pregnant, visit one of our dentists serving the Dallas area soon to be sure that you maintain good oral health throughout your pregnancy.