Why A Dental Checkup Is Important Before Trying to Conceive
Dr. Amanda Tavoularis (dentably.com)
If you and your partner are trying to conceive (TTC), one thing that is sometimes overlooked in this process is dental care. When you and your partner decide to grow your family it’s a really special time, but it’s important to note that you and your partner’s dental health can play a big role in fertility, especially if you are suffering from gum disease. That’s why it’s so important to visit your dentist for a checkup before you start trying to conceive. I have been practicing dentistry for more than 20 years and have helped many couples with their dental health so that they can be as healthy as possible for conceiving a child.
Fertility Issues Can Be Linked to Oral Health
It’s really important that you visit your dentist before trying to conceive so they can uncover any dental issues you have, such as cavities or gum disease. Crowns, fillings, and most dental work are safe and can be completed during your pregnancy, but if you need to have a dental procedure, it is best if you can have it completed before you start trying to conceive.
Also, if you or your partner suffer from gum disease it can affect your chances of becoming pregnant. It can take women seven months or longer to conceive if they have gum disease compared to five months for women who do not. Similarly, men with poor oral health are more likely to face male factor infertility due to the elevated levels of bacteria in the mouth. If you can have a deep cleaning and treatment completed before trying to become pregnant you can increase your chances of conceiving and be healthier for your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Hormones Make Your Mouth Vulnerable
Pregnancy will cause a lot of changes to your hormones, and this can affect your mouth greatly. Going back to gum disease, your pregnancy hormones make you more vulnerable to mouth bacteria and decay and raise your chances of developing pregnancy tumors and pregnancy gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can cause preterm birth and low birth weight which is why it’s better to deal with these issues ahead of time.
Continuing a daily oral care routine is the best way to prevent gingivitis before, during, and after pregnancy. Your routine should consist of brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, what you eat can be extremely helpful in maintaining a healthy mouth. Stay away from sugary drinks and snacks and focus on incorporating vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and dairy into your diet to help protect your teeth.
X-Rays Are Safe, But Get Them Before TTC
Another reason it’s essential to visit your dentist before trying to conceive is that you may want to get dental x-rays done beforehand. Dental x-rays are routinely taken to make sure that the structure of your mouth is good and that you don’t have any serious dental issues. Your dentist can provide you with the necessary dental x-rays before you’re pregnant instead of having to postpone them until after your baby is born. While the radiation exposure at the dental office is extremely low, if you can, it’s best to avoid unnecessary exposure to your baby. This is both for you and your baby’s safety.
As you begin preparing to have a new baby around the house, you will want to be as healthy as possible. However, sometimes dental care is forgotten in you and your partner’s overall health, but it’s important when it comes to conceiving a child. Be sure that both of you receive a dental checkup before you conceive to uncover any issues and resolve them so you can have the healthiest mouth before your baby comes along and help yourself prepare for parenthood.
Dr. Amanda Tavoularis has been committed to excellent dentistry for over 20 years. She studied at the University of Washington School of Dentistry and has gone on to complete over 200 hours of study at the prestigious Kois Center located in Seattle. She belongs to numerous dentistry networks include the American Dental Association and the Wellness Dentistry Network. With being a female dentist on the Dentably team, Dr. Amanda can provide her expertise for dental care for women as well as expecting mothers. She has a son of her own and is committed to providing the most accurate information possible for patients.