A dental cleaning is a procedure that helps with the routine maintenance of teeth. Patients who practice good oral habits see their dentists every six months. During these routine appointments, a dentist adds teeth cleaning to their to-do list.Not all dental cleanings are the same. Some patients may have oral health issues that require a…
More Frequent Dental Check-Ups Necessary During Pregnancy
Visiting a dentist is crucial during pregnancy and getting a dental check-up is especially essential. Pregnancy can cause numerous changes to a woman's oral health, so patients who are pregnant need to let their dentist know right away to ensure proper care.
Reasons pregnant women need an immediate dental check-up
Hormonal changes in pregnancy result in women being more susceptible to cavities, gum disease and periodontal disease. Inadequate dental care and the neglect of oral hygiene can cause complications relating to pregnancy. The following concerns illustrate some of the reasons patients should visit a dental professional frequently for a thorough dental check-up throughout the pregnancy.
1. Acid erosion
Morning sickness that leads to frequent vomiting can be damaging to the enamel, which is the protective outer covering on the teeth. The acid from throwing up can wear away this enamel and leave teeth vulnerable to tooth decay, as well as cause an increase of plaque. Patients who frequently suffer from morning sickness need to avoid brushing their teeth immediately after vomiting since this can lead to more extensive erosion of the enamel. Many dental professionals recommend waiting a few hours before brushing. Patients are also advised to rinse with water or chew sugar-free gum afterward to help reduce the risk of acid erosion.
2. Gum and periodontal disease
Pregnancy can cause numerous hormonal changes that affect the teeth and the gums. These changes cause plaque to easily build up on the teeth and make a pregnant patient more vulnerable to gingivitis, especially in the first and second trimesters. Gingivitis, which is an inflammatory disease that causes sore gums to bleed and swell, is common in pregnant patients. Gingivitis during pregnancy is a result of increased blood flow to the gum tissue, and this often causes the gums to swell and exhibit irritation.
Periodontal disease occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. This is a severe form of gum disease, and during pregnancy, it can cause severe complications such as premature labor and preterm birth. However, patients can reduce the risk of gum disease by following scrupulous oral hygiene and eating a properly balanced diet. Dental practitioners recommend brushing with a soft toothbrush twice a day and flossing after every meal, as well as continuing with professional dental cleanings.
3. Dental procedures
Dentists recommend getting any dental work done prior to getting pregnant. However, patients may still need certain processes completed during the pregnancy, including routine and emergency procedures. Dental work can be performed on pregnant patients, but dentists recommend waiting until after the first trimester if possible. X-rays can still be safely done on patients who are pregnant as long as the technician shields the patient's abdomen.
A dental check-up is needed frequently during the course of a patient’s pregnancy to ensure the health of both the patient and the baby. Pregnant patients are more vulnerable to gum diseases, enamel erosion and cavities. Practicing proper dental hygiene, as well as continuing with regular dental visits, help contribute to an easy and healthy pregnancy.
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