Pregnancy can do crazy things to your body. Many of the nutrients you rely on to help keep your body strong are being shared with your baby. That’s why pregnancy nutrition is so important: not only to keep your baby growing and healthy, but to keep you healthy, too.
Many women find that they experience dental problems during pregnancy, probably because of the calcium needed to help build their baby’s bones. This creates an additional concern, of course, because there are certain things you simply can’t or shouldn’t do while pregnant in terms of dental care.
Here are some of the things that can cause difficulties with dental care and pregnancy:
- Ignorance on the part of the dentist. Many dentists were taught in dental school that they should not treat pregnant women. While there was no evidence that dental treatment could cause harm, many simply err on the side of caution, which leaves many pregnant women out in the dust.
- Concern about X-rays. A key component of dental treatment is the X-ray. Some women, and some dentists, may be concerned that diagnostic X-rays could be harmful to the pregnant woman or to her baby. However, studies show that diagnostic x-rays pose no threat to either.
- Self-medication by the patient. In the case of a painful dental emergency where a dentist is reluctant to see a pregnant woman, the consequences can be even more devastating. The patient may choose to self-medicate with over the counter medications that could be harmful to her baby, or even with narcotics.
- A lack of communication between professionals. If a dentist has concerns about seeing a pregnant woman, the safest procedure is always to speak with the woman’s obstetrician. Together, they and the patient can make an informed decision about what the best course of treatment will be for her.\
So, what about you? One study showed that nearly 77% of pregnant women had been denied dental care during pregnancy. Have you experienced this kind of trouble? What did you do in order to resolve the problem?