When you are expecting a baby, it is an exciting and stressful time. Of course, you look forward to the birth of your child. However, the changes to your body can be overwhelming. You work hard to roll with the punches, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and staying active. Nevertheless, you may be overlooking a key component of your wellness. Dental health is extremely important, both for yourself and for your unborn baby. When you are expecting, hormonal changes can put you at a higher risk for gum disease, and this may harm your child. Fortunately, when you receive general dentistry treatments from an experienced practitioner, you will have little cause for concern. To learn more about dental care and pregnancy, contact our San Antonio practice today.
How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health
Dramatic hormonal changes during pregnancy can have many surprising consequences. Mood swings, cravings, and changes to your sleep patterns are all to be expected. An increased risk for gum disease is one thing you might not expect. When you are pregnant, your body will produce more progesterone. This hormone will make it harder to fight off oral bacteria. It will also exacerbate your reaction to existing bacteria. For these reasons, pregnancy gingivitis is a common concern among women who are expecting.
Proper Dental Care to Protect the Baby
Pregnancy gingivitis is a temporary problem, and it will usually go away after your baby is born. However, if you allow it to go unchecked while you are still expecting, it can develop into full blown gum disease. Severe periodontitis can be harmful for your baby. The disease has been linked to an increased risk for premature birth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia. Even if your delivery goes without a hitch, untreated gum disease will still cause bleeding, sensitivity, bad breath, and tooth loss.
There is no reason to put your baby at risk, especially when simple dental care can often prevent pregnancy gingivitis. While you are expecting, you should be extra cautious about your dental hygiene. Brush and floss religiously, especially after meals and before bed. You should also schedule your routine dental visits. Your hygienist can eliminate the bacteria that cause gum disease. In addition, Dr. Reger can identify the earliest symptoms, providing proper care before the condition spreads.
Will Dental Treatment Hurt Your Unborn Child?
Although oral care is essential for pregnant moms, you may worry that dental treatments will harm your baby. It is true that you should avoid unnecessary x-rays and elective cosmetic procedures while you are pregnant. On the other hand, exams and cleanings will not pose a risk. Even restorative procedures are safe with proper protocol. For example, Dr. Reger may use a lower amount of anesthesia when performing a procedure such as a root canal. Restorative dentistry, such as endodontic therapy, can also protect your baby. Without treatment, bacteria could enter your blood stream and travel to your uterus. When you come to our office, be sure to tell Dr. Reger that you are pregnant. Then he can take extra steps to protect you and your baby during treatment.
Contact Incredible Smiles of Texas
We look forward to providing you - and your baby - with the quality dental care that you deserve. Contact our office today to book an exam or periodontal screening.