There is a common misconception that women who are pregnant should not receive dental care. Dr Todd Beck at South Waterfront Dental wants to you know that not only is this not true, but delaying dental treatment while one is pregnant can be harmful to both the mother and unborn child!
When mom gets pregnant there is a flood of estrogen and progesterone. These little hormones trigger inflammation in the gums which cause mom’s mouth to over-react to even minimal amounts of plaque and tartar. Swollen and bleeding gums are very common during pregnancy; but they do not have to be!
Many studies have shown that active periodontal disease contributes to low birth weight babies and miscarriage. While tooth decay has not been directly linked to pregnancy complications, a tooth-ache can certainly make life miserable for mom. We also know that mom can pass along the bacteria associated with tooth decay from her own mouth to her unborn child and that child can have a higher incidence of tooth decay when their teeth start to erupt.
“Prevention is the key here,” says Dr. Todd Beck. “If you are thinking of getting pregnant one of your first stops should be to your dentist for a thorough exam and cleaning. Getting dental problems addressed before pregnancy makes good sense.”
You and your dentist should also consider having one or two cleanings while you are pregnant to help keep your gums in good shape. Though it is safe to complete any necessary dental work while pregnant, we like to do anything elective in the second and first half of the third trimester.
Bottom line is, you should not avoid dental treatment, especially of you are in pain, while you are pregnant. Healthy gums and teeth go a long way to ensuring a smooth pregnancy and healthy bundle of joy!
We invite you to view the entire interview with Dr. Beck on “Better Portland (Fox 12)” about dental care during pregnancy.