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Should I Go To The Dentist While I’m Pregnant?

Hi, I’m Dr Judith and I’m one of the Principal Dentists here at Elevate Dental in Melbourne.

Earlier today, we received a call from one of our regular patients, Amelia, from Hawthorn, who is now an expecting mum. Super exciting! Next week is her scheduled regular dental check so she asked, “Should I still visit the clinic even when I’m pregnant?”

This is such an interesting topic. So I thought I would make this video to talk about how pregnancy and dental health relates to each other.

When you are pregnant, it’s actually even more important to keep your oral health and teeth and gums healthy. When you’re pregnant, you’re actually at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues. Your dental health has a big impact on your overall health, which means it can have a big influence on your baby too.

Here are a few common things to be aware of during your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Gum Problem

Pregnancy hormones can make some people be at risk of gum problems that include gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums.

That’s actually more common and more likely to occur during the second trimester. What you may feel is an increased swelling of the gums and a lot of bleeding, especially during brushing and flossing between the teeth and the gums can actually get quite sore.

Gum disease and expecting moms can contribute to low birth weight babies. What happens is in the immune system, there are two sets of proteins called cytokines and they regulate your body’s response to inflammation. There are pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines. In a normal full-term pregnancy, proteins that encourage inflammation in the body are regulated by those that decrease the inflammation because what it wants to do is it wants to prevent the body from developing inflammation and rejecting the fetus. What happens when you have gum disease is that it causes an imbalance of these proteins, which then creates more inflammation in your body and can result in more complications during the pregnancy, especially at the end. It’s really, really important to make sure that your gums are healthy during this time.

Another thing that we look out for during pregnancy and another thing that a lot of new mums experience is morning sickness.

You know that horrible feeling when you’re nauseous and sometimes you end up over the toilet bowl vomiting, or just getting reflux and regurgitation? This is a very common thing. It’s very, very important to protect your teeth during this time, especially in the first trimester, because when there’s a lot of acid in your teeth in and around your mouth, it can erode and dissolve away your enamel. If you are experiencing morning sickness, it’s really important to remember do not brush your teeth straight after the episode. When there’s more acid around your mouth after morning sickness, it actually softens and weakens the enamel. When you go to brush your teeth after that, you’ll actually end up brushing away part of the enamel. What we recommend is to rinse your mouth with water and not brush your teeth until 30mins after.

So these are the few reasons why routine checking cleans are highly recommended whilst you’re pregnant to make sure that all the teeth and the gums are healthy.

Regular Dental Clean Pregnant Woman
Sometimes, you may still experience dental pain and you might experience an emergency. What happens then? Generally speaking with all treatments, we recommend having them commenced during the second trimester when the pregnancy is most stable. A lot of people ask, “Well, are x-rays safe? Is any sort of dental treatment safe?” And the answer is modern x-rays use a very, very low dose of radiation. The single dose is not usually high enough to cause any adverse effects in the development of a baby. We’ll always also make sure that your baby’s shielded from radiation by using a lead apron over the area.

Now although x-rays are safe, we may still recommend avoiding them during the first trimester if you’re only having a routine checkup, but if you have a dental emergency or severe nonspecific pain, an x-ray may still be needed to help us plan your treatment effectively. The same goes with an anesthetic. If you need to have a dental procedure whilst you’re pregnant, an anesthetic can be still used safely to help you relax and to numb the pain as well. This is also very, very important that you let us know about your pregnancy so that we can choose the right anesthetic for you. I hope that’s helped give you a better understanding of why you should still come to see the dentist if you’re pregnant. If you are expecting, and time for a dental visit, we would love to look after you.

We’re conveniently located in both Hawthorn and Richmond with onsite parking. Give us a call on 1300 2 SMILE, complete the form on our website, or send us a DM on social media, and we’ll be in touch to help you organise your consultation. See you in the next video.

Note: All content and media on the Elevate Dental website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

 

 

Services we mentioned:

Dental Checkups

Emergency Dentistry

Periodontal Treatment

James Wong is a wonderful Dentist. The communication and patience through the procedure was first class.

James B

 

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James Wong is a wonderful Dentist. The communication and patience through the procedure was first class.

James B

 

What a professional and friendly team at Elevate Dental Richmond. Dr Judith’s infectious smile is matched only by her highly competent dentistry.
Richmond is lucky to have such a caring practice! Thanks guys.

Peter O

 

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