Caring For Your Teeth During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Your Dental Health

Being pregnant is a special time in your life when you’ll experience many changes with your body. A beautiful large belly, swollen feet, the mask of pregnancy, a rollercoaster of emotions, and even changes in your oral health are all differences that you may notice when you’re expecting.

Poor Oral Health Contributes to Pregnancy Complications

Maintaining excellent dental care while pregnant is an important part of your overall health. Pregnancy increases the risk of certain dental health problems that may lead to certain complications, like premature birth, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia.

Letting our Newport Beach dentist know as soon as you find out that you’re pregnant will help us better care for you during this special time.

Gum Tissue During Pregnancy

During pregnancy your hormones are going awry, and this can cause inflammation of your gum tissue. In fact, as many as half of all pregnant women will develop gingivitis which is the first stage of gum disease. Signs of gingivitis including having gums that are red, tender, swollen, and bleeding.

While these symptoms typically go away after childbirth, the consequences of not having good dental care while pregnant can lead to serious issues that stick around afterward.

Loose Teeth During Pregnancy

Studies have shown that, even in the absence of gum disease, the hormones progesterone and estrogen can loosen the ligaments and bones that hold your teeth in place. As such, it’s not uncommon to experience loose teeth during pregnancy. We assure you, however, that as long as your loose teeth aren’t associated with gum disease, that the condition is temporary and isn’t severe enough to cause your teeth to fall out.

seeing dentist while pregrnant

Dealing with Morning Sickness & a Sensitive Gag Reflex

Vomiting (whether you’re pregnant or not) can cause serious issues with your teeth. Stomach acids are very toxic and wear away at your smile. Not even the hard outer enamel shell of teeth can withstand the powerful acids that come up from your stomach when vomiting. Rinsing your teeth with water after vomiting is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile during pregnancy.

Having a sensitive gag reflex is common and can make dental care while pregnant very difficult. If brushing your teeth makes you gag, you can try and experiment with different toothpaste textures and flavors. Changing your toothbrush to one with a smaller head may also help. When you brush, do it slowly and gently, not aggressively. Brushing during the time of day when you feel your best may help also. If despite your best efforts, you can’t stand to have a toothbrush in your mouth, then at least rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and baking soda to neutralize the acids.

Visiting the Dentist During Pregnancy

Visiting our Newport Beach dentist during your pregnancy can help you maintain a healthy oral environment that both you and your baby will benefit from.

Prenatal Dental Cleanings & Exams

Having regular dental cleanings are recommended. In fact, we suggest that certain expectant mothers have their teeth cleaned more often than the six-month standard. This will help control your gingivitis, reduce your chances of developing gum disease, avoid becoming a victim of tooth erosion, and keep your baby safe.

During your cleaning appointment, our Newport Beach dentist will examine your teeth and look for decay or other issues that might require dental work during pregnancy.

X-Rays of Your Teeth

Dental x-rays, especially digital ones, give off a very low dose of radiation and are safe during pregnancy. However, to be especially cautious we’ll only take dental x-rays when it’s absolutely necessary. When doing so, we’ll cover your abdomen with a protective apron that blocks out any potential radiation exposure.

getting x-rays while pregnant

Having Dental Work During Pregnancy

If you have a dental issue that requires treatment and it can’t wait until after you have your baby, then we’ll speak with your obstetrician and get clearance for you to have the procedure performed. Typically, they’ll allow dental work during pregnancy in the second trimester when it’s the safest. Cosmetic and elective procedures, like whitening, shouldn’t be performed until after the baby arrives.

Dental Medications During Pregnancy

When you require dental intervention, your obstetrician will advise us on what medications are safe to use. If you have an infection and we need to get you on an antibiotic right away, or if we’re trying to hold off on treatment until after you give birth, then we’ll give you an obstetrician-recommended prescription.

Sedation with dental work during pregnancy isn’t recommended, but if feeling pain is what you’re afraid of, then you may find comfort in knowing that we can use special anesthetics that are safe for both you and the baby. This can prevent you from feeling any pain while we work on you and keep your blood pressure down.

Pregnancy Dentistry in Newport Beach, CA

If you’re in your second trimester and haven’t seen a dentist during your pregnancy, then call The Center For Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry in Newport Beach. Our excellent dentist and staff look forward to helping take care of you during this special time and for many years to come!

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