Pregnancy is one of the most special and exciting periods in a woman’s life. For this reason, many expectant mothers should pay special attention to their dental health so that they do not face surprises during pregnancy.
There is a bidirectional relationship between dental health and pregnancy; pregnancy can affect dental health, while dental health can also affect pregnancy.
How do hormonal changes during pregnancy affect oral health?
Pregnancy leads to a number of hormonal changes in the body. In particular, hormones such as progesterone and estrogen can increase blood circulation in the gums, increasing sensitivity. These hormonal changes can lead to gingivitis, called pregnancy gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by symptoms such as swollen, red and bleeding gums. Pregnancy gingivitis can negatively affect gum health. In addition, gingival tissue is much more sensitive to inflammation during this period and can respond much higher to an inflammation. Gingival enlargement and susceptibility to bleeding are common conditions.
How Can Dental Problems Affect Pregnancy?
Pregnancy consists of three 3-month periods, called trimesters. The first trimester is a very critical period in which a significant part of the baby’s organ development takes place. During this period, the expectant mother should be very careful in terms of nutrition and drug use. During this period, it is not recommended to perform dental procedures other than routine check-ups and scaling unless it is mandatory.
The second trimester is the period when the baby shows a stable development and growth. This period is relatively safer than the other two trimesters. Necessary dental procedures can be performed with the help of safe medications during pregnancy.
The third trimester is a sensitive period close to delivery. Any inflammatory condition that occurs in the body during this period can trigger premature birth with a disruption in hormonal balance. The birth of low birth weight babies with premature birth is one of the most important causes of developmental problems and, more painfully, neonatal deaths. Gum disease, which is the most common inflammatory disease in the society along with diabetes, increases the risks during pregnancy. Bacteria that cause gum disease have been found to be associated with premature birth. Research shows that women who take care of their oral health during pregnancy have a lower risk of preterm birth. Therefore, poor oral hygiene and gum disease carry high risks during pregnancy.Considering all these risks, personal oral care during pregnancy should be excellent. Depending on the changes in the body, the response to plaque accumulation and inflammation will be different and more intense than non-pregnant individuals.
I am considering IVF treatment. Does oral and dental health have any effect on IVF treatment?
IVF treatment is a very sensitive and careful process applied by people who experience some problems in natural pregnancy processes. Inflammatory conditions that occur or exist in the body can affect the success of IVF treatment. Gum diseases and dental caries are associated with an increase in the number of bacteria in the mouth and the formation of infection. In similar situations in the body, immune cells become defensive and wage war against foreign bodies. As a result, the risk that the embryo implanted in the uterus of the expectant mother during IVF treatment may not be able to attach to the uterine wall in a healthy way may increase.
Before the IVF treatment process begins, it is recommended to identify the problems in the mouth through a dentist examination and to carry out the necessary treatments. In this way, the risk of failure due to oral health can be minimized. In addition, it is important that the treatment of dental and gum problems that may arise after the pregnancy process begins is solved before pregnancy, as it will be risky before birth.
How should I take care of my oral health during pregnancy?
1. Regular Dental Checkups: Regular dental check-ups should be done during pregnancy and dentist recommendations should be followed. The dentist can diagnose problems such as pregnancy gingivitis early and take treatment measures. In order to reduce the sensitivity of the gums during pregnancy, your dentist’s recommendations should be followed exactly and regular teeth cleaning should be done. In addition, when any dental problem is noticed during pregnancy, a dentist should be consulted immediately. Early intervention ensures that problems are solved more quickly and effectively.
2. Healthy Nutrition: A healthy and balanced diet is important for the health of both mother and baby. Nutrients such as calcium and vitamin C play an important role in dental health and the development of the baby
3. Oral Hygiene: Basic oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing and gargling should be practiced. Particular attention should be paid to oral hygiene before going to bed at night. Complying with all the recommendations of your dentist regarding oral hygiene will allow you to manage this process in a healthy way.
In the light of all this information, it is of great importance to have a dental examination before pregnancy and to ensure ideal oral health. Remember, taking care of oral health during pregnancy not only positively affects the health of the expectant mother, but also the health of the baby.
We wish you to hold your baby with a healthy smile.