The appropriate time to visit the dentist is of great importance during and after pregnancy. An expectant mother could potentially hurt their unborn baby by not having regular dental checkups during trimesters. The second trimester is of great importance to receive dental procedures such as, anesthetics and oral medications (Chlorhexidine). During this trimester, expectant mothers should avoid dangerous medications such as NSAIDs and various antibiotics. This is in part due to development of the mouth of the fetus, which begins to form as soon as 4.5 weeks. The complete development of teeth in the fetus is 6 months.
A new term comes to mind, “Childhood Enamel Hypoplasia.” This term pertains to teeth that are incompletely formed and experiencing decay. This disorder allows teeth to decompose much faster. Childhood Enamel Hypoplasia causes an increase in body temperature in both child and mother, followed by premature birth weight. There are numerous changes that occur orally during pregnancy. One being hormonal changes that bring about shifting of teeth, modification of the salivary glands, and bacteria causing agents that promote the growth of microorganisms within the gums.
The increase of microorganisms promotes acid, which increases growth of bacteria in the gums. The additional plaque and microorganisms is caused by a diet rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Thus, decreasing the body’s response to limit bacteria. Additionally, pregnant women can have problems with their gums, which can range from bleeding and inflamed gums. This disorder is known as “Pregnancy Granuloma.” These disorders can be harmful to both mother and fetus, and should be addressed properly by a dentist to promote healthy dental care.
MAJ Georgia dela Cruz Dental Staff Officer
Directorate of Health Promotion & Wellness
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion & Preventative Medicine
Diann Bomkamp, RDH, BSDH, Missouri
WI Dept. of Health and Family Services
University of Southern California
Proctor & Gamble
Dr. Luke Shwart, Calgary Health Region