A common misconception most mothers have is they can’t visit the dentist during their pregnancy. Bleeding gums? Wait after you have given birth to make an appointment. Toothache? Grit your teeth and bear with the pain.
The truth is, you can visit the dentist during any time of your pregnancy, in fact you should not miss your dental check up just because you are pregnant.
Just as your pregnancy is divided into three distinct trimesters, dental visits can also be categorized in the same manner.
The first trimester is considered very delicate and it is when the baby’s organs are being formed. All elective and non-urgent dental treatment should be avoided within this time. Having said that, emergency dental visits for swellings, broken fillings, toothaches, etc. can be made anytime within the nine months period. It is important that the mum to be is comfortable and as calm as can be.
The second trimester is when all mothers to be should have at least one check up. Any necessary and non-invasive dental treatment can be carried out within this time. Excessively bleeding gums and sometimes swellings due to hormonal changes are not uncommon during pregnancy and a check up and simple cleaning can actually lessen the symptoms experienced.
Hopefully all potential problems have been rectified by the time the third trimester is around because at this time, pregnant women should have as little stress as possible. An urgent dental appointment during the third trimester due to something that could have been fixed during the second would be best avoided.
Gum Disease and Premature babies
A link has been established between periodontitis (gum disease) and premature babies. Studies have shown that women with untreated gum disease are seven times more likely to have a baby which is born prematurely and born too small. It appears that periodontitis triggers the release of fluids that induce labour.
Hence, it is normal and alright to visit your dentist while pregnant. It is also recommended that all expectant mothers have at least one check up during the second trimester.
By Dr Chin Shou King, T32 Junior Marketing Director
One Orchard Boulevard
Camden Medical Centre
Tel: (65) 6733 1388
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