Dental Care for Expecting Mothers
Pregnant women get lots of tips for protecting their own health and that of their babies, but oral health is sometimes overlooked. During pregnancy, hormonal changes raise the risk of problems affecting the teeth and gums. Here is a look at oral health issues affecting pregnant women and the dental care options available for addressing them.
About half of all pregnant women suffer from gum disease, which starts off as simple gingivitis and can progress to full-blown periodontitis. While early symptoms commonly involve gum swelling, tenderness and bleeding, advanced gum disease can cause a wide range of problems. Jawbone damage, tooth loss and serious infections can all occur. Furthermore, some studies have found links between gum disease and the risks of premature birth or miscarriage.
Pregnancy tumors are not necessarily cancerous, but they are related to irritation caused by gum disease. While these growths often disappear after the baby is born, they can be unsightly and uncomfortable in the meantime. Tartar removal may allow the tumor to reduce in size or disappear, but oral surgery may be recommended for very large or troublesome ones.
Expecting mothers should brush after each meal and floss at least once per day during pregnancy. Teeth cleanings and exams should also be performed routinely. Treatments should be avoided in the first and third trimesters, though, as it could disturb prenatal development. For this reason, patients should inform our dentist in San Fernando Valley when they are pregnant. Patients can schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about the importance of dental care during pregnancy.
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