Apparently, good oral hygiene is even more important when you’re pregnant …
This posed a slight problem for me, in that I last went to the dentist three years ago. I used to be a regular 6-monthly check up person in the UK. But then, my first Amsterdam experience was so off-putting I took the cowards approach and decided to never go again.
Basically my dentist, adopting a bedside manner I can only describe as ‘brutal terrifying honesty’ told me I probably needed my wisdom teeth out. But – here’s the kicker – because one is sitting close to the nerves around my jaw, I might permanently lose all feeling in my jaw when they take it out.
I’m sorry? Permanent loss of feeling? – I’ll chose ‘Box B’ – ‘never see you again’ thanks.
Having read on my trusty source of all knowledge, the NHS pregnancy website, that you’re more vulnerable to such delightful things as bleeding gums when pregnant, I thought it was time to be mature and visit again.
Back I went, to the same dentist. I thought, maybe it was just bad luck the first time or I over-reacted. I thought, I’ll start the session with some cheery pregnancy chat, that’ll lighten the mood. But no, the harbinger of doom struck again. This time I was reprimanded like a school girl for not having been in three years (fair point, badly delivered), and told that failure to take care of my teeth & gums during pregnancy could cause a premature or underweight baby. Now, as much as I appreciate being given the scientific facts – and having read up since, there’s a fair body of evidence that links the two – I’d admitted I’d been slack up until now and said I’m making a renewed dental effort as I’m pregnant. I don’t in any way, shape or form need to feel like I’m trying to harm my baby.
Well, what’s done is done. Next, onto the hygienist as there’s “plenty of work to be done.”
If you’re curious to read some of the research on bad dentistry / possible baby complications in a non-judgmental way, have a peek through these:
- Periodontal treatment can prevent pre-term labour – according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Periodontology
- British Dental Health Foundation’s checklist of problems caused by poor dental health
- Conclusion on relationship between oral health and premature babies unclear
Time for me to brush, floss and avoid nightmares involving people in long white coats.
Any insights on the dentistry / pregnancy issue? Or, any very excellent dentists in Amsterdam you’d like to recommend? Comments welcome below.