KNOW YOUR MOUTH/ ARTICLE
Dental Health & Pregnancy
The common dental conditions in pregnancy are:
- Pregnancy gingivitis
The gums of a pregnant woman are very sensitive to the toxins of dental plaque (an invisible, sticky film of germs on the teeth).
Neglect in oral hygiene and increased rise in hormone levels will make her gums respond by becoming swollen and bleed easily, a condition called pregnancy gingivitis.
- Tooth decay
Expectant mothers, like everyone else who like to take sweet snacks, are prone to tooth decay.
- Dental infection
When pregnancy gingivitis and tooth decay are not treated, the germs and their toxins can reach and infect the jawbone and form pus. This dental infection can spread through the blood to other parts of the body.
- Dental check-up and treatment
The best time to go for a dental check-up and treatment is during the 4th - 6th month of pregnancy. But urgent treatment can be carried out anytime.
- Dental X-ray
Always tell your dentist when you are pregnant. So if dental X-rays are necessary, your doctor can take these after the 4th month of pregnancy. X-rays taken after the 4th month will not affect your baby's development. A lead apron can also be worn to block off any radiation to your womb.
Dental X-rays help the dentist to check for decay between teeth and check the condition of your jawbone.
- Oral hygiene
Brush your teeth after every meal or at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day. Use of mouth rinses is optional.
Good nutrition is important for your dental health and that of your unborn baby's. Take a balanced diet with food from the three basic food groups every day: Rice & alternatives, Meat & alternatives, Fruit & vegetables.
Do not take drugs unless they are prescribed by your doctor. If taken during pregnancy, tetracycline (an antibiotic) can cause permanent staining of your baby's teeth.