One of the common complaints during pregnancy is tooth ache. Pregnancy is a trying period. Add to it excruciating tooth ache, you have agony at it’s extreme end.
Here are some facts and tips in achieving good dental health during pregnancy :
1) Brushing of teeth (twice a day at least) and flossing. Extra vigilance in maintaining good Oral Health.
2) Dental procedures can be done during the second trimester of pregnancy. Treatments during 1st and latter half of 3rd trimester should be avoided, though not contraindicated.
Inform your dentist of your pregnancy ( especially if you have to take Xrays)
3) Pregnancy gingivitis (inflammation of gums with slight bleeding) is common is 50 -70 percentage of ladies. Effective brushing and occasionally scaling (cleaning) by the dentist will help in reducing gingivitis.
4) Eat healthy. Make sure your diet consists of fruits, vegetables and milk, cheese, yoghurt etc.
5) Neglecting oral health can not only lead to extreme pain for the patient but is also harmful for the baby. Mothers with chronic periodontitis have 8 times more chance of having pre term babies with low birth weights.
6) Any decayed tooth should be attended to immediately. Caries (decay) of enamel alone does not give pain. Caries causing exposure of dentin (2nd layer of tooth) leads to sensitivity and that of pulp( 3rd layer) leads to pain. Hence, consult your dentist as and when you notice a decay instead of it reaching the third layer and causing pain !
7) Constant nausea and vomiting can lead to an acidic condition in the oral cavity, leading to initiation of erosion of the enamel. Hence wash your mouth thoroughly. Use an appropriate mouth wash if required.
8) A swelling commonly known as pyogenic granuloma/pregnancy tumour is observed in nearly 10- 30 % of pregnant ladies. It is a harmless swelling which usually regresses soon after. Consult your dentist for further information. If it persists long after the pregnancy, it should be excised.
9) Over the counter medication with no prescription from a doctor should not be taken at any cost.
Oral health is extremely important for the overall general health of the patient and should not be neglected.
PS : Though Dr. Google is a great information centre, please avoid diagnosing yourself. Consult your local doctor in case of any difficulty.
Submitted by Dr Shahira.