Dental Treatment During Pregnancy

Why Visit the Dentist While Pregnant?

jan14_steps_pregnancy_webaIt is important to not neglect your oral health when you are expecting. While some women may delay going to the dentist until after the birth of their baby, it is important to maintain a clean oral cavity during pregnancy. There are several reasons for this.   It is known that hormone levels increase during pregnancy and can contribute to bleeding, swelling and inflammation of the gums which is commonly referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. Gum disease in pregnant women has been linked to premature delivery, preclampsia and low birth weight infants.   Some women may experience an increase in tooth decay if they develop cravings that cause them to consume more carbohydrates or sweet foods and drinks. And women with morning sickness will expose their teeth to more acids that can cause tooth decay. For all of these reasons, it is best to continue your dental visits while pregnant. It is also important to maintain good hygiene habits during your pregnancy and to brush and floss regularly.

What Procedures Can I Have Done While Pregnant?

The second trimester is generally the recommended time to have dental treatment such as cleanings and fillings. Radiographs can be taken if needed so long as a lead apron is used. Any noncritical treatment or cosmetic treatment should be delayed until after the pregnancy. Emergency treatment can be performed whenever necessary, as it is important to prevent infection, pain, and stress to the mother that can affect the growing baby. Your dentist will use only those anesthetics that are considered safe for the developing baby and will use the minimal amount needed to obtain anesthesia.

Inform Your Dentist If You Are Pregnant or Think You Might Be

If you are pregnant or think you might be, but are awaiting test results, let your dentist know so that they can make the best decision about what treatment you can safely receive and when.   If your pregnancy is high risk or you have received special advice or precautions from your physician, make make your dentist aware of this information.