What dental problems are common for pregnant mothers?
Each woman and each pregnancy is different. Some women experience no symptoms at all (aren’t they lucky?) and some have difficulty throughout their whole pregnancy.
- Morning sickness and nausea can make it difficult to brush or floss teeth.
- Hormonal changes affect gums and can cause bleeding gums and accelerate other gum issues.
Does the baby suck out all of your calcium and then weaken your teeth?
No! As your teeth develop, calcium is integrated into its structure permanently as crystals in the enamel and dentine. A developing baby will not be able to suck out the calcium from your teeth.
Why do pregnant Mums have lots of dental problems?
Morning sickness, pregnancy diabetes and food cravings, your teeth will be assaulted by a variety of acidic, sugary nasties that will affect them and potentially cause issues if not dealt with quickly.
Can you have dental treatment when you’re pregnant?
Yes of course! According to the therapeutic guidelines for dental treatment:
“Most dental treatment can be carried out safely during pregnancy. Elective treatment is best performed in the second trimester however, elective treatment requiring general or intravenous sedation should be delayed until after birth and preferably after breastfeeding has ceased.”
Our Gentle Dentists highly encourage having an examination, scale and clean done whilst you’re pregnant in order to help settle your gums. If there is any further treatment (eg fillings) to be done then we will consult with you in order to schedule it in according to your needs. Eg if it is not urgent and you’d prefer to delay it until the baby is born, that is fine with us. But any major issues which can result in infection will be harmful to the baby and will need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
At Gentle Dental Centre we will take considerations by using medications (eg local anaesthetic or antibiotics) that have been used safely on pregnant patients for many years.
What about x-rays?
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency state that there are no contraindications to taking intraoral x-rays during pregnancy. However, we will generally defer examination Xrays until you are no longer pregnant just for your peace of mind. If you have an infection or problem that needs imaging though, we will take Xrays because leaving issues untreated is much worse than the minimal risk of taking an Xray.
I get bad morning sickness when I try to clean my teeth – do you have any tips for me?
Yes, try to use a smaller head toothbrush, or if it is the taste of the toothpaste which causes the gagging reflex, it’s more important for the mechanical removal of plaque so brushing with just water is better than without anything at all.
If the teeth is constantly under the assault of acid and it is difficult to clean your teeth without feeling nausesous then the use of a daily Fluoride mouthwash like Neutrafluor 220 can add extra protection.
My gums bleed a lot when I brush them, what can I do about this?
Maintain good oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy. For any gum issues a good scale and clean will remove the tartar that irritates the gums so after this then symptoms should improve. If you have gestational diabetes then trying to keep blood sugar level under control will help.
Does having untreated dental issues affect the baby (infections etc?)
Of course! It is best that your oral and therefore general health is good in order to provide the best environment for your baby to grow. Acute abscesses in healthy adults can result in life threatening illness so need to be treated as soon as possible and ideally not with oral antibiotics. Research has shown that untreated dental issues can affect your developing baby, such as having severe gum disease leading to premature births.