Is It Safe to Go to The Dentist During Pregnancy? (July 28, 2017)
Being pregnant can make someone quite busy. Between ultrasound appointments, prenatal checkups, and other appointments as well as trying to prepare a nursery, childproofing a home, and making sure you have all of the necessary supplies can keep a woman very busy. However, don’t let your dental health and responsibilities fall off the list. Getting a checkup, especially in the first two trimesters of a pregnancy is completely 100% safe. This way any cavities you have or other oral health problems you have can be fixed before you have the child. The dentist can also provide help with any dentally-related problems you are having during pregnancy.
The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages all women to continue regular dental care during pregnancy. Maintaining oral health is key to helping ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. Other conditions that may help you have a healthier pregnancy can be solved at this time as well.
When Do I Tell My Dentist I Am Pregnant?
It’s best to do this up front, even if you think you might be pregnant to notify all doctors and care providers you have, including your dentist. Also let your dentist know of any medications you are taking, and also of any special orders from your physician or other healthcare providers. If you are a high-risk pregnancy or have certain conditions some dental treatments may be best if postponed till you have given birth.
How Will Pregnancy Affect My Mouth?
Many women will make it through a full pregnancy without a single dental problem. Others, however, do have some dental problems and pregnancies can make it worse for them! Good dental habits before pregnancy can help keep you healthy and keep the baby healthy during pregnancy as well. This way, if issues arise you can address them early and ensure they don’t harm the well-being of your unborn child.
What Problems Do Pregnant Women Usually Have?
There are several pregnancy problems that can become an oral nuisance or problem, and a few of the following are the most common:
- Pregnancy Gingivitis: Your mouth can be effected by hormonal changes in the body and sometimes that can result in things like “pregnancy gingivitis” or other similar conditions. Getting ahold of these conditions and controlling them is vital to good oral health during pregnancy, and not letting that disease get into any more advanced stages of periodontal disease. Your gums may also bleed a little when you brush them and you may notice your gums are more sensitive than usual.
- Increased Risk of Tooth Decay: Many women who are pregnant are prone to having more problems with their teeth such as cavities or even tooth decay in more extreme cases. Morning sickness and vomiting can add to the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to and it can eat through the enamel on your teeth faster. Brushing and flossing regularly can help ensure you are maintaining the best oral health possible, and can help save your enamel from excessive wear.
- Pregnancy Tumors: Overgrowths of tissues can help can often appear along the gum line, and swelling of the gum line is also common, especially between the teeth. Many gums will also bleed more easily, and plaque can collect more easily. Many of them may leak a red, raspberry-colored substance from them, but most are harmless in nature. If are concerned or want them removed talk to your dentist about that possibility.
Be sure your dentist is aware of any type of medications you are on as that will help determine what treatments may or may not be suitable for you. This way your dentist can also contact your physician to reach out if any pain medications or other prescriptions are needed to ensure no conflict between that prescriptions and others you are on is an issue. This helps with prescription recommendations.
Local Anesthetics Throughout Pregnancy:
Different procedures such as root canals or having cavities filled during pregnancy may require local anesthetics to ensure that you are not experiencing pain during these procedures. These local anesthetics are safe for both you and your unborn child to use. Dentists will likely use things like lidocaine gels or shots, both of which are safe practices on pregnant women. Studies have shown that there are no issues with a higher risk of premature pregnancies or other issues that may occur while using certain medications when using these forms of local anesthetics.
Digital X-Rays During Pregnancy:
Most dentists will only use digital x-rays on pregnant women, and despite the almost negligible amount of radiation released from such procedures will cover your abdomen in a lead apron to expose and limit any exposure of radiation to your unborn child even further. This will also protect your thyroid from soaking in any radiation that may possible be present during this procedure as well.
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The Ramona Dentistry Team
“Where Family Comes First”