Dental management of pregnant women

Dental Management

Pregnant women often complain of bleeding from gums soon after conception. Hormonal changes in the female body are basically responsible for this manifestation and the condition is termed as pregnancy gingivitis. Dental plaque is not a direct cause for this type of gum inflammation. Periodontal maintenance care in pregnant women is of prime importance as the condition can get worsened if patients exhibit poor oral hygiene conditions. Patient education and information care is essential in order to make them understand the common nature of this occurrence. Periodontal pathogens and microorganisms can get entry into the body through blood circulation damaging the heart and liver.

Regular tooth brushing, use of dental floss and mouth rinses should be a routine in pregnant ladies. Prevention is the key to avoid harmful consequences in mothers as well as infants in future. The first trimester is characterized by the formation of vital organs in the fetus and complex dental surgical treatment procedures are contraindicated in mothers. Minimal invasive treatment options should be considered for the relief of pain and discomfort. All invasive procedures such as root canal treatments and extractions should be deferred till the delivery of child. The following piece of information gives an insight into the dental management of expectant women.

Pregnancy causes many hormonal changes which increase the risk of the expectant mother to develop gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue) and periodontal disease.

“During pregnancy, the changes in the hormonal levels affect the teeth and gums just like any other body parts.

Most commonly, gingivitis increases in the first trimester, becomes more severe through the eighth month, although it begins to diminish in the ninth month,” says Dr Lynn Esther Musinguzi, a dental surgeon at Pan Dental Surgery in Kampala.

If you have tender, bleeding or swollen gums during your pregnancy; notify your dentist as soon as possible because pregnancy gingivitis, a bacterial infection known to attack expectant mothers, actually exposes their unborn child to many risks, especially if the mothers also suffer from diabetes.

“The risks of pregnancy complications caused by periodontal disease are reduced by as much as 70 per cent, by good oral hygiene and this will alleviate many unpleasant and harmful effects associated with gingivitis and periodontal infection.”

Occasionally, a large swelling of gum tissue will form, marked with many deep-red pinpoints. The dentist must assess the condition of the gums and jawbone in order to make proper diagnosis.

Dentists can provide dental education and recommendations to the pregnant women on effective home care which can reduce risks that may affect her and her child’s health.

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