Dental Care and Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know

Dental care should not stop because you’re pregnant. Hormonal changes in the body may affect your dental health. It may increase the risk of developing gum diseases, which can affect your newborn baby. During pregnancy, you also need to check for dental problems like tooth decay and cavities. Your dental health can affect you in various ways. So, getting a complete dental check-up during pregnancy is not only important but also essential for your overall health.

A] How Pregnancy Affects Your Dental Health?

  1. Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

Pregnant women are more prone to cavities and there are many reasons for this. If you have more carbs in your diet, it may cause tooth decay. Morning sickness is another reason, as the acid in your mouth increases, which could lead to tooth decay due to exposure.

Morning sickness causes other issues like tender gums and gag reflux. Poor oral habits may increase the chances of tooth decay. Skipping brushing your teeth or not properly flossing due to exhaustion can lead to tooth problems. Craving sweets can lead to tooth decay; so you need to be careful.

  1. Gum Disease

Pregnancy hormones can increase the chances of gum problems. In the second trimester, most women develop gingivitis. The symptoms may include swelling of gums and bleeding. It may cause periodontal disease, which may cause an infection in the structure supporting the tooth. If you ignore gum problems, it can take a severe form. Pregnancy can also cause pregnancy epulis – a form of swelling around the gum area that can bleed at times. If there is pain, you need to visit your dentist immediately for a periodontal examination.

  1. Craving for Sugary Foods

The majority of pregnant women crave sugary foods. Excessive sugar can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Another possible reason for the craving is low blood sugar level in the body. It is important to check your blood sugar level if you crave too much sugar. Some women also crave sugary sweets when they are feeling emotionally low. Having smaller meals throughout the day can help you manage your cravings.

  1. Gagging Session When Brushing the Teeth

Some pregnant women face the problem of gagging, especially while brushing the back teeth. They may also experience hypersensitivity, which is a natural gag reflex. It is vital to avoid gagging as it may cause tooth decay. Use a toothbrush with a small head, and take your time when you brush or floss your teeth. If the taste of the toothpaste is causing a gag session, it is crucial to switch to another brand. You can even brush your teeth with water and use a mouthwash with active fluoride later.

  1. Vomiting Due to Morning Sickness

Pregnancy hormones soften the muscles that keep the food inside the mouth. Vomiting associated with morning sickness can cover your teeth with strong acids. With repeated reflux, the surface of your tooth can get damaged, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

Avoid brushing your teeth after vomiting as it may damage the tooth enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with tap water and use a mouthwash containing fluoride. You can also use a dash of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Smear it on your teeth and rinse them with water. Try waiting for an hour after vomiting before you brush your teeth.

  1. Pregnancy Tumours

Are you aware of pregnancy tumours? In some women, an overgrowth of tissues called ‘pregnancy tumours’ appears around the gum area. It happens mainly in the second trimester of pregnancy. The tumour is not cancerous, and the swelling occurs due to hormonal changes in the body.

It happens mainly because of the formation of excess plaque. The tumour bleeds and has a raspberry-like appearance, and it’s often tender when touched. However, these tumours may disappear after the birth of your baby. But if it causes any problem, the dentist may remove it with a surgical process.

B] Impact of Dental Treatments During Pregnancy

  1. Root Canal

If the tooth decay reaches the nerve endings of the tooth, it can be extremely painful. Root canal treatment effectively stops the pain by removing the infected tissue and restoring your tooth with a natural-looking crown. There is no need for tooth extraction in this procedure.

With a dental emergency like a root canal, the dentist can perform it at any stage of your pregnancy. You should not delay it if the condition is worse or else it may cause problems. The procedure involves dental X-rays, so the second trimester of pregnancy is the safest time for a root canal.

  1. Tooth Extractions

Most dentists try their best to save a tooth with a root canal treatment. Extraction is the last resort when no other option is left. If you damage your tooth due to decay or an injury, it could put your oral health at risk. Tooth extraction is safe and can be performed at any time. But if there is no emergency, it is ideal to wait for the second trimester. X-rays in the first trimester may be harmful to the baby and there will be discomfort lying down for many hours in the third trimester. So, it is safe to get your tooth extracted in the second trimester.

  1. Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a harmless treatment that your dentist can perform during pregnancy. But some dentists recommend waiting until the delivery. Avoid teeth whitening and other cosmetic procedures during the third trimester of the pregnancy.

It may be uncomfortable for women to lie still for a long time while the dentist applies whitening gel. With the home teeth whitening kit, you should check the concentration of hydrogen peroxide as it should not be more than 6 percent. Higher concentration can cause damage to the tissue. If you’re not sure about the process, don’t try it at home as it can damage your teeth.

  1. Orthodontic Treatment

There is no problem in getting orthodontic treatment during pregnancy. You can get your braces fitted. Although, some dentists may recommend waiting till delivery. At times, there may be complications with the fitting part. Also, getting adult braces may require an X-ray. Your dentist will ask you to avoid it in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Some women experience swelling of facial tissues and gums during pregnancy, which may irritate the brace wires. If there is pain, your dentist can provide safe gels to numb the pain.

  1. Local Anaesthetics

Dental procedures during pregnancy can cause pain, so an anaesthetic can help you relax and alleviate the pain. For this, you need to inform your dentist about your pregnancy stage so that they can use a suitable anaesthetic level. Dentists usually use the lowest concentration of anaesthesia possible. But, talk to your dentist if you feel uncomfortable during a particular dental procedure.

C] Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy

Modern dental X-rays use low doses of radiation, and single-dose X-ray does not cause any adverse effect in the development of the fetus. Dentists make sure that the baby is shielded from radiation using the lead apron. Though X-rays are safe, some dentists still recommend avoiding them in the first trimester of the pregnancy. You can avoid an X-ray if you’re going for a routine dental check-up. If you have a dental emergency or extreme pain, X-rays could be the only option to help your dentist understand the root cause of the dental issue.

D] Dental Care While Pregnant

  1. Increase Calcium Intake

You will need to increase the amount of calcium in your diet during pregnancy. The right amount of calcium will protect your bones, teeth, and development needs of your baby. Include milk, cheese, yoghurt in your daily diet plan. Have different types of nuts that include almond and cashew. Leafy green veggies – spinach and kale are rich in calcium. You can also have calcium-fortified soy products or almond milk.

If you can’t have dairy products, choose food sources low in sugar. Healthy alternatives are available depending on your preference. Try getting at least 1000 mg calcium every day during pregnancy.

  1. Increase Vitamin D Intake

Vitamin D is effective in utilising calcium in the body. Small amounts of sun exposure can support vitamin D levels. You can also include various food sources of vitamin D.

  • Vitamin D fortified milk, bread, and cereals.
  • Fatty fish – salmon and mackerel – but discuss with your doctor about its intake.
  • Margarine but in limited quantity. Eggs and mushrooms.
  • Orange juice is vitamin D fortified and an excellent source of energy for the body.
  • 10 microgram of vitamin D supplement. Consult with your doctor though.
  1. Follow Good Oral Hygiene

You should follow good oral hygiene practices to avoid complications during pregnancy. It includes brushing and flossing regularly, and using antimicrobial mouthwash. Professional teeth cleaning can also help. Don’t ignore gum disease or tooth-related problems in pregnancy. Your dentist may recommend antibiotics or treatment to avoid escalation of the issue. If there is tenderness or bleeding in the gums, talk to your dentist immediately.

  1. Don’t Skip Dental Check-up

You shouldn’t skip your dental check-up because of pregnancy. Regular check-up helps the dentist identify any complications before it becomes an issue. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in the body that can put you at risk of periodontal disease and bleeding gums. More than 40% of women develop gingivitis during pregnancy, so an early check-up can cut your risk of developing the disease.

Further reading: Importance of Visiting the Dentist Every 6 Months

  1. Healthy Diet

You must focus on a healthy diet from the beginning as the baby’s first teeth develop within three-four months into pregnancy. A healthy diet should include dairy products, cheese, yoghurt, and foods with essential minerals and vitamins. Include all the food sources important for gum and bone health.

Further reading: Best And Worst Foods For Your Teeth

  1. Avoid Sugary Foods

Sweet cravings are common in pregnancy, but you should avoid sugary sweets. The more you consume sweet foods, the more you’ll increase your chance of developing tooth decay. Have natural fruits instead if you crave sugar.

Final Words,

If you visit the dentist, tell him you’re pregnant and inform him/her about the month. Tell the dentist the names and doses of medications if you’re in for a dental procedure. Don’t skip your dental check-up in pregnancy. Focus on good food habits and stay healthy because it is good to prevent the problem than treat it.

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10/7 Nicklin Way

Minyama QLD 4575, Australia

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Book Appointment

(07) 5444 4308 & 1300 70 60 90

Send Us An Email

dentist@orisdental.com.au

Adarsh (Principal Dentist)

Adarsh

Adarsh (A-Dash) is the principal dentist at Oris Dental. Adarsh graduated as a dentist in 1996 from the University of Mumbai (Bombay, India). He entered private practice as an assistant dentist in one of the leading practices in Mumbai from 1996-2002. The practice offered all aspects of dentistry with the exception of Orthodontics. This prompted Adarsh to pursue a post graduate degree in Orthodontics and successfully completed the 3 year Full time the master’s program from University of Mumbai (Bombay, India) in 2005. Since then, Adarsh has been in private practice both as a general dentist and an orthodontist. He also served as teaching faculty at University in Mumbai for 3 yrs and when in India, he has been ‘the dentist’ to many dentists!! In 2008, Adarsh took the Australian Dental Council exam for direct recognition of his skill in Australia. He successfully completed the exams in the first attempt and moved to Australia early 2009. He has been in private practice in Australia since Jan 2009. Oris Dental was set up in Minyama in 2011. Oris Dental is now over 8 years old and is growing to be a well-respected practice in the area. He is particularly interested in Cosmetic dentistry Dental implants and Orthodontics. Adarsh hopes to use all the experience he has gained in the past 22 years, to offer the best in dentistry to all his patients in this practice. Adarsh believes in spreading smiles and has successfully designed smiles and in doing so improved the lives and self-confidence of many Sunshine Coast locals (Take a look at our Smile gallery!). Adarsh is an active member of the Australian Dental Association since 2009 He held the post of Senior Lecturer in Orthodontics in Mumbai University before moving to Australia. He is a Life member of the Indian Dental Association, serving as the General Secretary of the Association (Mumbai City Chapter) 2007-2009 He is Life member of the Indian Orthodontic Society. He is Candidate for Membership Examination MRACDS (Ortho) and plans to complete his membership exams soon. Adarsh is also currently pursuing his Diploma in Implant dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons(Edinburgh). Adarsh has recently complete intensive training in implant placement and restoration in Neoss and TRI (Swiss) Implant system. He is married to Prachi for 15yrs and they have a 11 yr old son – Aarjav, a little daughter Aria who has just started prep and Daisy the mad Lab pup! He is currently learning to play Tennis and Badminton and loves watching the cricket!

Prachi (Owner/ Dentist)

Prachi

Prachi is the director, part time dentist at Oris Dental. Prachi graduated in 2002 from Nair hospital dental college, Mumbai (Bombay, India), one of the leading dental schools in Asia. She then worked in multiple private practices across Mumbai (Bombay, India). While working as a dentist in various practices she picked up the positives from them and implemented them into this practice at Oris Dental. She is very friendly by nature and is particularly good at handling children, preventive dentistry and hygiene. Prachi moved to Australia in 2009. Prachi has there on completed her Australian Dental council exams successfully in early 2011 and is now ready to bring in her 12 years of experience to Oris Dental. Prachi also serves as a part time dentist at the Oral Health Services Sunshine Coast in Caloundra Kawana and Nambour as needed.

Davina (Dentist)

Davina

Davina has been a part of our family since 2014. After completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Queensland, Davina has been in private practice in an around the Sunshine coast for a year before joining us full time. Davina shows exemplary skills in building a great relationship and rapport with her patients and is well regarded by her peers. Davina is very highly regarded by her current patients. Davina currently works 3 days a week.

Lise Slack (Dental Hygienist)

Lise Stack

Our dental hygienist Lise Slack is a trained member of the dental team who works together with your dentist in preventing gum diseases and dental decay.

Lise joined OrisDental in 2015 and has worked extensively in private specialist practices. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 1982 and has had specific training and exposure to an extensive range of periodontal conditions and treatment modalities.

Lise’s dad was a professor in dentistry and this is where her love of teeth comes from. She has invented two specialist oral care products which are available in Australia and several international countries. Lise has also lectured at international dental conferences on the maintenance of dental implants and how to help patients care for their teeth once they have contracted periodontitis.

Both adults and children can benefit from having an appointment with a dental hygienist as they are taught how dental diseases occur and how it can be prevented or managed.

Lise is married to Sam and they have two daughters. They value their family time and love adventurous outdoor sports.

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jess has been a part of Oris Dental from the outset in 2011. Always cheerful and welcoming Jess is the star amongst our patients at our practice. If you cannot find Jess in the practice she will be at the beach!

 

Kaela (Receptionist)

Debra (Receptionist)

Kaela is a new addition to our practice. Coming from eight years of retail experience in Northern NSW, she loves working with people and assisting in any way she can. Kaela is also currently studying to become a trained dental assistant. You will immediately fall in love with her happy, bubbly personality.

Abby (Sr. Dental Assistant)

Abby (Dental Assistant)

Abby is originally from Hervey Bay, but she has been calling the Sunshine Coast home with her husband and two kids for the past four and a half years. Abby completed her cert III in dental assisting in 2015 and is looking to further her studies In the near future. Abby enjoys camping, playing guitar, and travelling
the world with her family.

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    Dr. Param Dass

    Dr. Param Dass

    Param Dass graduated with a Bachelor in Dentistry from the University of Otago, NZ in 2005. He went on to complete his Bachelor in Medicine from the University of Auckland NZ in 2010.

    Param started working part time in our practice since 2015 with special interest in surgical procedures including Dental implants and bone grafting procedures, Surgical extractions including Wisdom teeth and other minor surgical procedures.

    Param is well known for being gentle and caring in treating patients with dental anxiety and maintains a calm demeanour.

    He is also well trained in working with patients with various levels of anxiety, offering dental treatment under Happy Gas, Twilight sedation or under Full general anaesthetic.

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Brayden hails from North Queensland, having completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at JCU Cairns, practicing in Hobart and outreach dentistry from Mount Isa over the course of his studies. He has worked with us since 2020. Brayden enjoys becoming a part of a community and enjoys the outdoors and sport in his spare
    time. Having only recently moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Brayden is enthusiastic and well versed in all aspects of basic general dentistry and looks forward to bringing North Queensland hospitality to the South East.

    Briar

    Briar

    Briar stated off as a trainee dental assistant in our practice mid-2020. She is the youngest member of our practice and is rapidly becoming an integral part of team Oris. Briar completed her Certificate 3 in our practice in 2021 and works full time Dental assistant at Oris Dental.