When the pregnancy test signals that there is a baby on the way, the woman’s schedule is soon full of chores: preparing the baby’s trousseau, looking for a trusted obstetrician, scheduling the first blood and urine tests to check the general state of health, and so on.
What few people think of adding to the short list is the visit to the dentist, which usually becomes a concern only when the pregnant woman already has an oral health problem and needs to maintain frequent monitoring.
But just as the pregnant woman regularly visits her gynecologist before the birth of her child, it is very important that a dental prenatal care – if possible, even when parents are planning to become pregnant, as reported by dentist Dra. Daniela Yano.
“The ideal is to do it even before pregnancy, to keep your mouth healthy and avoid the need for possible anesthesia treatment. After all, in a routine visit, it is possible to discover a cavity, canal or other problem that requires intervention ”, he explains.
“These consultations are a great opportunity for women to review their health”, reinforces Dr. Gilberto Nagahama, gynecologist and obstetrician at CEJAM. According to him, practically all dental treatments are safe during pregnancy, when appropriate medications are used. “The x-ray, for example, has such a small amount of radiation that it poses no risk to the pregnant woman,” he adds.
During pregnancy, in addition to checking the mother’s oral hygiene, the professional will also be able to guide her about the care that should be taken with the child’s teeth, to avoid complications in this early life. Check out 12 myths and truths about children’s teething.
Extra care during pregnancy!
You may have heard someone say that pregnancy “spoils” your teeth, right? In fact, it is not quite like that. According to Dr. Daniela, what actually happens is that some physical and hormonal changes in pregnancy can make women more susceptible to dental conditions, such as cavities and bleeding gums.
“At the beginning of the process, it is common for pregnant women to feel sick, feel sick or vomit frequently. This causes the body to produce more secretion – the so-called gastric juice – and it returns to the mouth, making the pH very acidic. Consequently, the tooth is porous and more sensitive to breaks and the installation of a cavity ”, explains the specialist.
In addition, some women want to eat foods that they did not consume before and, when brushing, they feel sick, not cleaning their teeth properly.
“One last important factor is that the gums are more vascularized during pregnancy, which makes them more easily inflame – a condition called gingivitis gravidarum. Thus, in a pregnant woman who eats and does not brush her teeth, plaque forms more easily than in a patient who is not pregnant, ”adds the dentist.
For this reason, she emphasizes that a care routine be followed, carefully flossing and brushing three to four times a day (not forgetting to clean the tongue too!). “I recommend using brushes with small heads – to avoid seasickness – and soft bristles, to reach all corners of the mouth and massage the gums ”, he says.
Can the mother’s oral problems affect the baby’s health?
Depending on the degree of gum inflammation, this can be an important concern. That’s because there is a possibility that gingivitis bacteria enter the bloodstream and reach the uterus, where they will stimulate the production of a hormone involved in premature birth. “The problem is actually related to the risk of premature birth and the baby being born with low weight”, warns the obstetrician.
Caries, on the other hand, can be bothersome and have long-term consequences for the mother’s organism, but they have no direct relationship with the child’s health. Ultimately, there is a chance that a negative oral health condition will decrease the woman’s immunity, making room for diseases that affect her child.
What is the best period to perform oral treatments?
But what if you really need to do something during the nine months? In this case, Dr. Daniela indicates that it is performed in the second trimester of pregnancy. “Because at first the pregnant woman is easily sick and usually cannot keep the cotton or any instrument in her mouth for a long time. The little final is bad because of the inconvenience of posture, caused by the weight of the belly ”, he says.
In the second phase, the belly is not so big and the period of discomfort related to nausea must have passed. But the dentist emphasizes that it is important to balance the risks and benefits of each treatment – if there is a wisdom tooth to extract that is not causing pain at the moment, for example, it is best to leave it out later.