At Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee, we are honored to serve individuals and families at virtually every stage of life. That includes expectant mothers. If you are endeavoring to start or grow your family, or you are currently blessed with a pregnancy in Suwannee, it’s important to note that several considerations could impact both the health of your unborn child and your personal oral health. Our experienced dentists weigh in on those considerations to help you enjoy a healthy pregnancy AND healthy teeth and gums during the nine months before you head to the delivery room.
Hormonal Changes and Oral Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that changing hormones can cause gums to become red and swollen during pregnancy, leading to an early stage of periodontal disease – gingivitis – in roughly 60-75% of expectant mothers. Moreover, the estimated 70% of pregnant women who experience morning sickness due to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone may run the risk of tooth decay due to the stomach acids that pass over their teeth enamel. Regular brushing and flossing can help hold these risks at bay, particularly when paired with the maintenance of regular checkups and cleanings.
Safe Dental Procedures During Pregnancy
It’s essential to maintain good oral health during pregnancy, which includes dental checkups and cleanings. Sadly, a study by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicates that 56% of women did not visit a dentist during pregnancy. Rest assured that Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee offers pregnancy-friendly dental treatments that include preventive, diagnostic, and restorative procedures – all deemed safe during pregnancy by the American Dental Association. Cavities among expectant mothers are not uncommon – often from increased consumption of sugary snacks due to cravings and increased acidity in the mouth. If we discover you have a cavity that needs to be filled, we will use a local anesthetic with epinephrine to keep you and your baby safe.
Nutrition for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Beyond brushing, flossing, and maintaining regular dental check-ups, expectant moms can protect the health of their teeth and gums by avoiding sugary snacks and beverages and shifting their focus to foods that support their oral health. It’s important to note that carbohydrates are converted to glucose, which can wreak as much havoc on oral health as sugar. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C – which is vital to gum health – include kiwis, oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale, among others. As an added bonus, the fruit on that list may help ease those sugar cravings. Cheese combats the acid erosion of teeth, and the Vitamin A found in sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and broccoli aids in tooth enamel formation and promotes gum tissue repair. An ice-cold glass of water several times a day will also wash away food particles, hydrate the gums, and promote the production of saliva – which is your best defense against bacteria growth.
The Connection Between Gum Health and Preterm Birth
As we mentioned earlier, for that 60 – 75 % of expectant mothers who fall victim to gingivitis, if left untreated, may experience infected gums, jawbone loss, and loose teeth that may have to be extracted. What’s worse is that if gingivitis leads to periodontitis, it could equate to poor pregnancy outcomes that include low birth weight at full term or premature birth.
Communicating with Your Dentist
Whether pregnant or not, it’s essential to communicate any concerns with your dentist. For instance, what may have been a practice in the past – like avoiding X-rays during pregnancy – may no longer be necessary. Both the Federal Drug Administration and American Dental Association have deemed X-rays safe for patients at every age – including unborn babies. Modern X-ray equipment emits such low exposure to radiation, our technicians are trained to move as quickly and effectively as possible to reduce exposure times, and we employ protective aprons to block radiation from getting anywhere near your baby. As a matter of fact, x-rays play a vital role in helping us identify potential issues early on that could impact your pregnancy if left unchecked. If you have any questions or concerns – particularly related to procedures and anesthesia, simply ask your dentist to walk you through them.
If you are seeking dental care during pregnancy in Suwanee, Gentry Dentistry welcomes the opportunity to serve you. We are currently accepting new clients at our office – located at 3585 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suite #101-A, in Suwanee. You can book an appointment by calling 770-945-5850 or filling out our online form at www.GentryDentistryofSuwanee.com. We wish you all the best during your pregnancy and look forward to welcoming your baby during their toddler years as one of our newest patients!