Why Professional Dental Cleaning Is Important When You’re Pregnant

Did you know that you're a diphyodont? This is any creature who only develops two sets of teeth—your baby teeth and your adult teeth. There are also polyphyodont creatures, which have multiple sets of teeth throughout their life, such as sharks, crocodiles, and even kangaroos and elephants.

You need to keep your teeth as healthy as possible since you won't be growing a replacement set. This is largely achieved by cleaning your teeth—both at home and at a dental clinic. When you're pregnant, is it important to have your teeth professionally cleaned?

A Non-Invasive, Safe Treatment 

Your teeth are generally cleaned (involving scaling, polishing, and perhaps a root planing) at your regular dental checkups, which should be approximately every six months. This is a form of non-invasive dentistry, meaning it doesn't pose any risk to you or your baby. It actually contributes to your overall well-being.

Inflammation of Your Gums

One of the things your dentist will look for in your regular appointments is gingivitis, which is an inflammatory condition affecting your gums. It's caused by the accumulation of harmful microorganisms (oral bacteria) on your teeth, which have led to plaque and calculus (which is calcified plaque). This will be removed with professional cleaning, reducing your risk of gingivitis. This is important because you have an increased risk of gingivitis when pregnant.

The Risk of Pregnancy Gingivitis

As many as 60% to 70% of women will experience pregnancy gingivitis. The hormonal changes your body experiences during pregnancy can encourage the development of gingivitis. It's important to have your teeth professionally cleaned so that your pregnancy gingivitis is controlled, preventing it from becoming a more serious periodontal infection.

Scheduling the Procedure 

Pregnancy can be physically demanding, but it's still crucial that you attend your regular dental appointments so you can receive a professional cleaning. You may find it more problematic in your third trimester when the act of getting into the dentist's chair and leaning backward can be too difficult. Since you only need to have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months or so, you can consider scheduling the procedure for your second trimester, unless otherwise directed by your dentist. More frequent cleanings might be suggested if you have in fact developed pregnancy gingivitis.

There are a few activities that are scaled back when you're pregnant, but your regular dental appointments shouldn't be one of them. To learn more, contact services like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock.