Visiting the Dentist While Pregnant
So, you’re pregnant and realizing you’re due for your next dental visit? Not to worry. You’ll be safe and healthy getting your dental cleaning and checkup at any time. It’s actually really important for the health of your baby as well. Healthy mom = healthy baby, after all!
And yes, it’s safe to get an X-ray during pregnancy, as the dental assistant or hygienist will cover you with a leaded apron to minimize radiation exposure to your abdomen. They will also cover your throat with a leaded collar in order to protect your thyroid as well. (Radiation can sound scary, but we can assure you that the amount of radiation given off by x-rays is minimal.)
It’s important to note that if you detect any type of dental infection or notice any type of swelling in your mouth while pregnant, you need to seek treatment asap. Consequences of not treating an infection, for example, far outweigh the risk of medication.
What are some ways in which pregnancy may affect your mouth?
Heightened risk of tooth decay
Due to morning sickness, your mouth is more exposed to acid, which can eat away at tooth enamel. You may also be prone to eating more carbohydrates and sweet cravings.
Because you experience many hormonal changes during pregnancy, you could be more susceptible to “pregnancy gingivitis”. This is a condition when your gums become inflamed, swollen, and tender. You may notice that your gums bleed more easily when you floss as well. When you don’t keep an eye on this, there is a chance it could lead to more serious forms of gum disease. More frequent cleanings may be recommended by your dentist if you find yourself dealing with this.
Pregnancy tumors are overgrowths of tissue on your gums. These appear most often during the second trimester. Not to be confused with cancer, these tumors are just swelling and may be a consequence of excess plaque. Appearance-wise, they look rather raspberry-like. The good news is – they will probably disappear soon after your baby is born, but feel free to speak with your dentist about having them removed.
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