Can You Get Dental Work While Pregnant? Yes, And You Should, But…

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Expecting mothers are often more susceptible to developing oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Can You Get Dental Work While Pregnant?

Due to these complications that occur during pregnancy, you should prioritize your oral and general health especially when you think for two.

If you’re pregnant and wondering whether it is safe to go to the dentist, read on to find out.

Importance of dental care during pregnancy

Pregnancy can be demanding on your health, especially on your teeth and gums. Taking care of your oral health during pregnancy is crucial as it can affect the health of your developing baby. 

Pregnant patients may be more prone to tooth-related ailments such as gum infections and tooth decay. For this reason, you should prioritize taking care of your teeth and also plan a trip to the dentist

Pregnancy and dental issues

Some common dental issues that arise during pregnancy are:

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in the woman’s body, especially a marked increase in the levels of estrogen and progesterone.  

In around 60% of women , fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy cause the gums to swell, bleed, and become sensitive. This gum disease is called gingivitis.

Pregnancy gingivitis develops between months 2 and 8, reaching a peak during the third trimester when pregnancy hormones go haywire. 

A study found that pregnant women with chronic gum disease were 4 to 7 times more likely to deliver prematurely (before week 37) and have underweight babies.

Dental Cavities

Pregnancy increases your risk for cavities due to changes in your eating and oral hygiene behaviors. Pregnancy fatigue is a very real concern, owing to which you may choose to skip a few sessions of brushing and flossing before bedtime.

If you’re craving high-sugar or high-starch foods during your pregnancy, this may speed up the formation of plaque on your teeth. Additionally, vomiting due to morning sickness could make the enamel of your teeth more prone to damage.

Cavities

When these risk factors are combined, they may cause dental decay and cavities. Reports suggest that around 50% of expecting mothers have tooth decay. 

Women with decay-causing bacteria could transmit these bacteria from their mouths to their baby’s mouths.

Pregnancy tumors 

Sometimes, you may develop a large lump over your gums during pregnancy. These large lumps with deep red pinpoint markings are called pregnancy tumors. They may bleed or crust over while eating.

The word “tumor” may worry you. However, these growths are not cancerous and will not spread. They typically occur due to an extreme inflammatory reaction to a local irritant (plaque). They are seen in 10% of pregnant women and usually occur during the second trimester.

These tumors usually disappear on their own after the baby is born. You can ask your dentist to remove them if they interfere with eating or speaking.

Is it safe to get dental work while pregnant?

Yes, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American Dental Association (ADA), and American Pregnancy Association (APA) consider preventative dental care and dental work done while pregnant safe.

It is important to visit the dentist during pregnancy. While treatment during every trimester is safe, the second trimester is the safest period. You may avoid the first trimester for major dental work as your body is still getting used to the pregnancy.

The third trimester is safe but you may have a hard time laying on your back for an extended period.

Let your dentist know that you’re pregnant. potential dental issues from occurring. This way your dental professional will curate a personalized dental plan to suit your unique needs

You should also give a thorough medical and dental history so that your dentist knows what to expect. This way your dentist can take safety precautions to maintain your oral health.

Which dental procedures are safe during pregnancy?

Now that you know that it is safe to visit the dentist while pregnant, you may be wondering which procedures you can choose to have done. You can get certain dental procedures during pregnancy. Major dental treatments are deferred until after you’ve given birth

Can I get dental cleanings during pregnancy?

Routine dental checkups and regular dental cleanings are safe and recommended during pregnancy. They can be done any time during pregnancy to help prevent gingivitis.

Can I get dental fillings during pregnancy?

It is safe for pregnant women to get dental fillings done during pregnancy. Deep cavities may require additional treatment.

Can I get X-rays during pregnancy?

According to the ADA, getting a dental X-ray during pregnancy is safe for you and your baby as long as you wear a leaded apron and thyroid collar to limit your body’s exposure to the X-rays.

xray-safety

Can I get local anesthesia during pregnancy?

Studies have indicated that medications used during dental work like dental anesthetic shots (with lidocaine) during pregnancy pose no significant risk unless appropriate levels are used. Anesthetics containing felypressin should be avoided. 

Tips to Maintain Good Dental Health During Pregnancy

Intending to maintain good oral health, the ADA recommends all expecting mothers to:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Get routine dental care examinations.
  • Get a dental cleaning every few months.
  • Postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or after delivery.
  • Cosmetic dental work should be postponed until after delivery.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after vomiting.
  • Avoid foods with high sugar and salt content.

Visit the dentist

Dental care does not stop just because you’re expecting. You should be twice more cautious to keep your oral health in check. This includes seeking routine dental work for your gums and teeth. 

We recommend seeing a dentist every few months to make sure you aren’t at risk of developing a tooth-related ailment. If you need emergency dental care during your pregnancy, your dentist can take extra precautions while performing them.

Visit your family dental care provider to keep posted about you and your baby’s oral care needs.

Common questions about dental care during pregnancy

Is dental health important after birth?

Oral health is important before, during, and after pregnancy. You should strive to keep your teeth healthy during pregnancy and even after. Visit a dentist for a routine exam after you’ve given birth.

What are some warning signs I need to look out for?

Some early signs of oral health concerns you need to look out for throughout pregnancy are painful or sensitive teeth, pain when chewing, red, swollen, or bleeding gums, and bad breath.

Can I take antibiotics or medicines when pregnant?

It is generally safe to take antibiotics when pregnant. However, you should ask your dentist whether dental pain relievers like paracetamol are safe to take and how much you need to take for your condition.

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