Dental Care During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a joyous but overwhelming time in a person’s life, and good dental care is rarely the first thing on an expectant mother’s mind. However, being mindful of your oral health is actually an important part of safeguarding the overall health of both you and your baby. Dr. Dean Lodding is an Elgin-based family and cosmetic dentist with decades of experience helping his patients enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles. He is also deeply involved in ongoing research and public advocacy relating to the mouth-body connection, which has increasingly shown that oral wellness can help promote overall wellness. Below, Dr. Lodding offers tips on how to best care for your teeth and gums before and during pregnancy.
If you know that you are intending to conceive, it can often be beneficial to schedule a dental appointment in advance. This allows your dentist to thoroughly clean your teeth, examine your gums, and address any potential problems ahead of time. Dr. Lodding also offers oral DNA testing to help patients better understand their specific risk factors for oral infections and cancers.
Chronic infection can have significant negative effects on the health of both mother and child, as infection and decay can spread to the fetus in addition to placing undue stress on the mother’s body. Any tooth decay or gum disease should ideally be addressed prior to pregnancy. Dr. Lodding offers advanced periodontal therapy options—including laser gum treatment—to help remove infection and seal the gum pockets. He also provides tooth-colored (composite) fillings and root canal therapies to treat tooth decay and relieve pain.
You should continue to attend your regular twice-yearly dental appointments during pregnancy. That said, Dr. Lodding encourages pregnant patients to clearly inform their dentist that they are expecting. Most routine and urgent dental work should be completely safe for both mother and child, but it is important that your dentist be properly informed so that they can customize your treatment. That said, we do typically recommend that elective procedures—including most cosmetic work—be postponed until after delivery.
Additionally, pregnancy results in a variety of hormonal changes that have been linked to increased gum sensitivity and a heightened risk of developing periodontal disease. If you notice tenderness, swelling, or bleeding of your gums during pregnancy, we recommend contacting your dentist.
Contact Smile for Life Dental
If you have more questions about dental care during pregnancy or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lodding, please contact us today. A friendly and knowledgeable member of our team will be happy to assist you.