Will pregnancy affect my oral health?
Expectant mothers (and women who take some oral contraceptives) experience elevated levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This causes the gums to react differently to the bacteria found in plaque, and in many cases can cause a condition known as "pregnancy gingivitis." Symptoms include swollen, red gums and bleeding of the gums when you brush. Remember that the bacteria in plaque (not hormones) is what causes gingivitis. Brush twice a day and floss before you go to bed to help avoid plaque buildup.
What are "pregnancy tumors?"
New research suggests a link between pre-term, low birth weight babies and gingivitis. Excessive bacteria, which causes gingivitis, can enter the bloodstream through your mouth (gums). If this happens, the bacteria can travel to the uterus, triggering the production of chemicals called "prostaglandins," which are suspected to induce premature labor.
Should I receive dental treatment while I'm pregnant?
Good oral health care is vital during your pregnancy. Continue with your regular dental cleaning and check-ups to avoid oral infections that can affect the fetus, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Dentists recommend that major dental treatments that aren't urgent be postponed until after your child is born. The first trimester, the stage of pregnancy in which most of the baby's organs are formed, is the most crucial to your baby's development, so it is best to have procedures performed during the second trimester to minimize any potential risk.
Dental work is not recommended during the third trimester because the dental chair tends to be too uncomfortable for the mother. If you lie back, the chair may cut off circulation by placing pressure on the vein that returns blood to the heart from the lower part of your body.
If I do need treatment, what drugs are safe?
Be extremely cautious of all drugs during pregnancy. If you have gingivitis or periodontal disease, your dentist may want to treat you more often to achieve healthy gums and a healthy baby.
Although dental anesthetics such as novocaine or lidocaine can enter the placenta, which filters out most drugs, the doses used in most dental procedures are considered safe.
If you need to have dental work done during your pregnancy, research has shown that some acceptable antibiotics include penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin, but avoid tetracycline, which can cause discoloration of your child's temporary and permanent teeth.
Dr. Singh uses the latest advances in cosmetic dentistry to reshape natural teeth and give people the gorgeous smile they've always wanted. He began his career in 1985 and got fellowship from Academy of General Dentistry in 1993- FAGD. The Academy of General Dentistry is an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education and reliable consumer information. He also did Mastership in General Dentistry in 2001. Today he is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to all of his patients.
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