Pregnancy is one of the most exciting things in the life of a woman. They might feel nervous at the same time particularly about the long list of do’s and don’ts. Life style modification required in this period is in accordance with the hormonal changes in the body. Oral cavity is not an exception and hence requires special attention too.
Importance of oral care during pregnancy is an issue which requires much attention particularly in Indian subcontinent where awareness about it is very low. In this part of the world there is a belief that dental treatment and dental x-ray is not safe during pregnancy. Contrary to the belief it has not only been considered safe but also very much essential for every pregnancy by the American Congress of Obestricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Oral Care during pregnancy is of utmost importance to avoid the untoward risk of premature or low birth babies. Following things about oral care should be kept in mind during the nine months of pregnancy:
• Women considering motherhood should get their oral problems treated before pregnancy.
• Special attention should be given to oral care during pregnancy. The expecting mother should have regular dental follow up, maintenance of proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing and balanced diet.
• In case there is pregnancy induced morning sickness, one should rinse mouth with fluoride mouthwash to avoid its deleterious effect on teeth.
• In case of dry mouth due to hormonal changes, one should stay hydrated by taking lots of water.
High prevalence and low awareness about oral disease has made it a silent epidemic. Special attention is required regarding oral health in general and during pregnancy in particular because of its hazardous consequences.
Oral health of expecting mother has significant bearing on the birth outcome and oral health of infant. Several studies has shown positive association between poor oral health of expecting mother and preterm birth, low birth weight babies and preeclampsia.
Offenbacher and colleagues were first to report potential association between low birth weight babies and preterm births with maternal periodontal disease in 1996. Since then several studies have proved their claim.
Periodontal disease in woman during pregnancy has also been shown to increase the risk of other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes.
Maternal oral flora is also significant as it gets transmitted to newborn babies. So presence of pathogenic bacteria in mother’s mouth can increase risk of developing caries in children.
These are the significant reasons why it is of utmost importance to maintain good oral health during months of pregnancy.
During pregnancy oral cavity gets prone to infection because of various physiological changes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can bring about increased tooth mobility, changes in composition of saliva, and change in oral bacterial flora. Saliva during this period has fewer minerals and gets more acidic and hence has decreased buffering capacity.
These changes in the nine months of pregnancy make the woman more susceptible to following diseases:
• Oral lesions: Morning sickness during pregnancy increases acid reflux which erodes dental enamel. Pregnant women are advised not to brush their teeth immediately after vomiting. They should use soft tooth brush and fluoride mouthwash under proper guidance to reduce the risk of enamel damage.
• Caries: Pregnant women are at increased risk of dental caries because of altered salivary composition, increased acid reflux, craving for sugary diet and lack of attention to oral hygiene. Proper intervention is required to prevent development of caries.
• Pregnancy oral tumor: Pregnancy oral tumor is a vascular lesion caused due to increased level of progesterone hormone and presence of dental plaque. They are usually affect gingival and are common in first trimester.
• Mobile tooth: Tooth mobility increases despite of absence of disease because of hormonal changes (increased level of estrogen and progesterone) in combination with altered oral flora.
• Gingivitis: It has a prevalence of 60 to 75% during pregnancy. Preexisting gingivitis shows exacerbation during pregnancy. Oral hygiene along with hormonal changes causes the growth of gingivitis causing bacteria. As it is preventable, regular dental check up can avoid any such condition.
• Periodontitis: It is nothing but inflammation of periodontal apparatus holding the tooth in bony socket. Prevalence of periodontitis has been found to be about 30% in women of child bearing age. It can cause recurrent bacteremia which can affect pregnancy in adverse way. It needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
We, at Implanting Smile Super Specialty Dental Clinic, have a top notch team of doctors from different specialty of dentistry. We practice dentistry with meraki. We work together in a coordinated way to provide holistic treatment.
As oral care of expecting mother needs special attention which may warrant doctors from different specialty, we provide the complete solution. We are well-versed in providing complete care. Our center is well equipped and has a soothing milieu to deal with it delicately.
We are also having specially tailored oral care plans for expecting mothers. We wish to provide complete oral care so that you can enjoy this lovely period of nine months and thereafter without any glitch.