• Dental Care During Pregnancy

    by Dr. Lee A. Ecker
    on Apr 30th, 2018

As we all know, oral health is essential for every individual-- -- and
especially during one’s pregnancy. Unfortunately, statistically, only 63% of
women during their pregnancy seek a dental professional. Many women
are afraid that routine dental care may cause problems during their
pregnancy-- however, just the opposite is true. It's important to us at Dr. Lee A Ecker and Associates that you are armed with the most accurate dental information. 

Avoiding dental care can cause women to develop periodontitis and tooth
decay! Increased gum inflammation during pregnancy is common.
Pregnancy alone does not cause gum disease, however, it may exacerbate
any current inflammation or predispose the women to becoming more
inflamed. A 2011 study found that periodontitis was a risk factor for
preterm labor and low birth weight. In the United States in 2015, preterm
birth affected one in every 10 infants. Meticulous oral hygiene is essential
especially if any signs of inflammation and gum disease is detected. Tooth
cleaning by a dental professional is important to remove the plaque and
hardened plaque know as calculus or tartar to prevent or improve any signs
of gum problems! Good dental homecare is essential as well with proper
brushing, flossing, and irrigation (i.e.waterpik). Dr. Ecker prides himself on not only treating oral problems, but also educating his patients on how to prevent them in the first place. 

During pregnancy, food cravings and increased intake are believed to be
hormonal, increasing the risk for dental caries. Many times, nausea and
vomiting may occur which can lead to G.I. reflux . This increases the risk
for acid erosion of the teeth. Also, daily nutritional requirements increase to
support the growth of the fetus. This many times leads to an increase
intake of sugar-containing foods and beverages leading to an increase in
tooth decay. All of which makes seeing a dentist that much more
important!

The question and concern of having x-rays at the time of your dental
checkup is always on the minds of pregnant women. According to the

American College of Radiology, no single x-ray has a radiation dose
significant enough to adversely affect the developing embryo and fetus.
According to the American Dental Association and the American College of
Radiology, having dental x-rays during your pregnancy is considered safe
with the proper shielding. You may want to discuss having dental x-rays
with your obstetrician, especially in your first term.

During pregnancy, many changes occur to our bodies and especially the
oral cavity. Most of these changes are hormonal which can lead to
increased gum inflammation and disease as well as increased tooth
erosion and decay. We know that these problems can detrimentally affect
the pregnancy and birth of the baby. It is essential that every pregnant
woman been seen by their dental professionals to ensure the health of the
mother as well as the newborn. 

Please give our practice a call at 973-284-7813.

Author Dr. Lee A. Ecker Cosmetic & General Dentistry

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