You’re expecting! It is such an incredible time when you are pregnant. While you know a little bundle of joy is headed your way, there are some ‘bumps’ you may encounter. Your body is going through a lot of changes – after all, you are growing a whole new person! You will be seeing your obstetrician nearly every 4 weeks throughout the entire pregnancy journey, and while they will keep most aspects of your health in check – we need to remind you about the importance of dental care during pregnancy.
For some reason, many pregnant women fear the dentist. In fact, a recent study actually showed that almost half of all American pregnant women put off their dental visits during their pregnancy. Some pregnant women assume dental changes are par for the course as many things in their bodies are going through changes. Others fear that most dental procedures are not safe for the baby, and skip the dentist entirely.
Normal Pregnancy Changes
It is true that during your pregnancy, a lot of dental changes will take place that are completely normal. However, even if they are normal – they can cause issues if not monitored by a dentist. One such change is the extreme increase in blood volume during pregnancy. While a woman is carrying her baby, her blood volume will increase by more than 50%. Because the vessels in the mouth are so small, this increase in blood volume can cause gum swelling, tooth tenderness, and bleeding.
The problem with assuming these are normal changes is that these symptoms can also be a signal of something more serious – gingivitis. Most pregnant women have gingivitis and never realize it. Gingivitis on its own is not dangerous, but it can progress into periodontitis and bacteremia (a condition that allows bacteria to sneak into the bloodstream). This is very concerning, as once bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can impact the uterus and the growing baby. In some cases, this leads to preterm birth.
At Premier Dental Center Lockhart, we highly recommend seeing one of our excellent dentists for all of your regular visits during pregnancy, but we also encourage you to talk with us if you notice abnormal gum swelling or bleeding. Don’t assume it is all normal!
Dental Procedures to Avoid
In all honesty, there really is no reason not to see your dentist during pregnancy as most procedures are completely safe for you and the baby, even most dental x-rays! While we recommend putting off cosmetic or elective procedures, such as whitening, things like tooth extractions, regular cleanings, and cavity fills are absolutely okay.
Trust Our Dentists with Your Health
You may still feel a bit reluctant, and that’s okay, being a new mother means having those protective instincts kicking in! We would be happy to speak with you about your concerns and put you at ease during an appointment. Our priority is your health and the health of your baby – and that is why we encourage all expecting mothers to see their dentist regularly. You can also chat with your obstetrician and they will tell you the same story – don’t neglect your dental health while pregnant. We look forward to caring for you, and your little ones, at Premier Dental Center in Lockhart, Texas.