Is Dental Care Part of Maternity Care?
It’s an unfortunately common belief that it’s harmful for a pregnant woman to go to the dentist while she is pregnant. This “myth” that for some reason visiting a dentist when carrying a baby puts future mother and the baby at risk is something that just got handed down from one generation to the next. And no one really knows how or why it took root. But somehow it did and – even today – it’s still hasn’t been completely dispelled.
But, it’s simply not true. Our mouths are the entryway to the digestive system and blood vessels. This means that oral health often ties represents a person’s total health. Nonetheless, a large number of pregnant women are skeptical about going to the dentist when they are pregnant. Mothers-to-be are wisely concerned about making sure they don’t do anything that might be harmful to their babies.
Here are the primary issues and reasons why oral care should be viewed as a safe aspect of maternity care.
The risks of dry mouth and periodontal diseases can be increased when a woman experiences a hormonal change or starts taking a new mediation (of certain types). Therefore, pregnant women are advised to floss and brush tow times a day. Even if that sounds excessive, which it does to some people, it’s necessary because it helps target the problems that overeating candy and sweets can prompt.
In other words, pregnant women have cravings, and often these carvings are for sweets. By brushing and flossing more frequently, cavities can be prevented and gum erosion, an added risk, can be minimized.
In addition, there are two other circumstances that pregnant women can experience that can cause oral health issues. One is vomiting, which we all know pregnant women tend to do as a result of morning sickness in severe cases. Vomiting can prompt the teeth to erode. In rare situations, the hormones pregnant women have can prompt growth in the mouth. Benign, these growths aren’t life or health-threatening, but they are a nuisance.
Babies’ teeth begin developing during months three to six. So, pregnant women must be particularly cognizant of their diets so they help assure their child’s teeth will be healthy.
It’s important to know that during each trimester, it’s quite safe for a pregnant woman to have dental treatment. The safest of them all is the second one but visiting the dentist during the third trimester doesn’t put pregnant women at any risk – even if it will probably be a bit uncomfortable.
Essentially, there is no justification or basis for putting off dental care and treatment while pregnant. There are those in the dental profession who contend that there’s a relationship between unfortunate pregnancy and birth problems, like premature births and a condition known as preeclampsia and periodontal disease. Again, this is a school of thought shared by some peers in the dental profession.
There are local anesthetics that are safe for pregnant women. Among them are mepivacaine and lidocaine. The pregnant woman need only discuss this aspect with their Ob/GYN prior to undergoing the treatment requiring a local anesthetic.
For more information about dental health and pregnancy, contact Paul Mansky Dental today! We are located in Troy, Michigan and can be reached at (248) 689-5508 and we hope to hear from you soon!