What are the most common dental issues during pregnancy?
Most often during pregnancy, expecting mother’s complaints are related to the high levels of the PROGESTERONE and OESTROGEN hormones. They are known for increasing blood-flow in the uterine mucosa, in order to ensure the normal development of the foetus. However, these hormones also boost blood flow in the gum mucosa and epithelium, resulting in the occurrence of symptoms, such as increased sensitivity, provoked or spontaneous bleeding, receding gums, due to adequate hygiene, even pain and occasionally – oedema…
Another problem is related to the fact that hormonal changes obstruct body’s capabilities for quick restoration of soft tissues. The change in physical activity and immunological changes increase the susceptibility to oral infections, which may even lead to the onset of periodontal diseases (periodontitis).
The high PROGESTERONE and OESTROGEN levels reduce the tone of the stomach and gall-bladder sphincters, and almost 30-50% of pregnant women complain from reflux, and along with that, changes in diet and frequency of eating, increase the oral acidity, thus increasing the risk of cavities.
THEREFORE: DENTAL TREATMENT MUST BE PART OF THE OVERALL PRENATAL CARE!
The expecting mother is advised to visit her dentist for prophylactic examinations and treatment, minor treatment procedures and oral hygiene between the 4th and 8th month of the pregnancy. The procedures must not be long – not more than 40 minutes. It is very important that the pregnant woman LIES DOWN and is not seated, and it is recommended that she has a thin pillow under her right-side bottom, thus lifting the pelvis to the right and ensuring normal blood flow to and from the placenta / foetus.
The most important task for us, as clinicians and doctors of pregnant patients is not to inflict pain or cause fear or panic!!! Therefore, it is mandatory to use local anaesthetics, and what is important for them is that they are applied in the area, near the place, needing anaesthesia and do not enter the general circulation, and they are inactivated within 1-2 hours. They ensure both dentist’s and patient’s peace of mind, there are no risks of elevated blood pressure, heart-rate or the occurrence of contractions, since these contain no adrenalin.
X-rays during pregnancy are only used if deemed absolutely necessary, although modern digital X-ray devices is exceptionally sparing and involve the use of reliable protective equipment. And yet, these are only used if urgent surgery or root canal treatment are required.
Dear mothers, do not neglect your own oral health, prior to, during and after pregnancy – it is the guarantee for the general healthiness of our child/children!
Dr. Tsveti Duicheva