Many women rely on their primary healthcare providers during pregnancy in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly while they are carrying and when they deliver. An Edmonton dentist is particularly important to have on your team during pregnancy, as your oral health can be impacted by the hormonal changes that occur during this time.
At the Edmonton dental clinics of the Azarko Dental Group, we encourage expectant mothers to pay special attention to their oral health. Good oral health has been shown to decrease the risk of delivering a baby with a low birth weight and of delivering pre-term.
Common Oral Health Problems During Pregnancy
Pregnancy begins impacting a woman's teeth from the very beginning, with the arrival of morning sickness. Stomach acid can damage the teeth, and even more damage can be caused if you brush right after being sick. It is best to rinse your mouth out with water first, and to wait 30 minutes before gently brushing your teeth.
The hormonal changes involved in pregnancy often cause tender and bleeding gums, a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis. It is thought that a combination of increased levels of progesterone and changes to a woman's immune system during pregnancy work together to spur the growth of oral bacteria.
Pregnancy gingivitis, though unavoidable for many women, can be minimized by paying a bit more time and attention to your brushing and flossing habits. Try to brush after every meal if you can, and consider using an antibacterial mouth rinse. If you were not in the habit of flossing before, then now is the time to start.
In a significant minority of women, pregnancy can also cause a condition known as pregnancy granuloma. Granulomas, which tend to accompany advanced pregnancy gingivitis, are non-cancerous but uncomfortable growths on the inside of the mouth that usually begin to develop during the second trimester. Pregnancy granulomas typically disappear after the baby is born, but can easily be removed surgically if need be.
When to Schedule a Checkup with an Edmonton Dentist
Even if you visited an Edmonton dentist shortly before your pregnancy, it is recommended that you go for a teeth cleaning and oral health examination some time during your first trimester. A professional cleaning can help keep pregnancy gingivitis at bay by removing plaque from hard-to-reach areas and by removing tartar, which cannot be done at home.
Your dentist can assess your oral health and determine if any treatments should be scheduled during your pregnancy. Fillings are generally safest during the second trimester, and x-rays are usually avoided during the pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
At the Edmonton dental clinics of the Azarko Dental Group we take pride in helping expectant mothers have increased comfort during their pregnancies and greater peace of mind during delivery. We welcome all mothers-to-be to schedule an appointment at one of our two Edmonton locations.
14938 Stony Plain Rd.
Edmonton, AB T5P 3X8