Is it Safe to Get Dental Work While Pregnant?
Pregnancy can be a busy and exciting time that’s filled with doctor’s appointments and checkups, so you might be wondering if you can add visiting your dentist to your medical to-do list.
Good oral care is just as critical during your pregnancy as it is during any other time. You may even be more susceptible to some dental issues during pregnancy that could put your teeth at risk.
Whether you’re worried about routine dental care during pregnancy or an unexpected dental emergency, we can put your mind at ease. Here is what you should know about having dental work done while pregnant.
Is it Safe to Get Dental Work While Pregnant?
The short answer to this question is yes, but of course, each specific situation may vary. Depending on what you need or want to have done, your dentist may be able to accommodate you throughout most of your pregnancy safely.
Routine checkups, extractions, and even x-rays are perfectly safe during your pregnancy, though your dentist will take extra precautions to keep you and your baby safe. Be sure to let your dentist and dental staff know about your pregnancy as soon as possible so they can ensure a safe, pleasant visit for you during your pregnancy.
Dental Problems During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can leave you more susceptible to some dental issues. For example, hormonal and dietary changes during pregnancy can lead to dental problems that should be treated as soon as possible.
Pregnancy hormones can trigger inflammation in your gums, commonly referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. Bleeding gums and sore spots from this gingivitis may make brushing more uncomfortable. Still, your dentist will likely recommend that you increase the number of daily cleanings to keep the inflammation from turning to infection.
Don’t leave gingivitis untreated during pregnancy. It can lead to infections and more serious dental problems that could even trigger preterm birth. Speak to your dentist if you suspect that you have developed gingivitis during your pregnancy.
Higher Risk of Tooth Decay
Giving in to those pregnancy cravings can lead to a higher risk of tooth decay, particularly if you choose sweet or high-carb foods. Morning sickness can make you want to skip brushing. And the exhaustion associated with pregnancy can make it challenging to keep up with your regular dental hygiene routine.
Cavities during pregnancy can be painful, and while getting dental fillings during pregnancy can be done, it can also be an inconvenience that most people would rather avoid. Avoid tooth decay by keeping up with your brushing and flossing routine, so your teeth stay healthy.
For some women, overgrowths of skin on the gums can make dental hygiene painful and unpleasant. These growths are referred to as pregnancy tumors, though they are not actual tumors but swelling in the skin between the teeth.
Pregnancy tumors aren’t life-threatening, but they can be painful and inconvenient. If they grow too large, your dentist may recommend that you have the tumors removed. These tumors can be sore and raw, bleed easily, but fortunately, they tend to disappear soon after you give birth.
X-rays and Extractions
Modern technology means that dental x-rays are safer than ever, even during pregnancy. Your dentist may take extra precautions such as protecting your abdomen and thyroid while taking the x-rays. Still, it’s generally relatively safe to have your teeth x-rayed during pregnancy.
Extractions are also safe during pregnancy, but you may be limited in your choice of anesthesia. While local anesthetics are typically fine, other forms of sedation may need to wait until after you give birth.
Special Considerations During Pregnancy
While much of your routine and even some emergency dental procedures are fine while you’re pregnant, some cosmetic procedures should wait until after you give birth. Any procedure that uses prolonged exposure to chemicals should wait, including teeth whitening procedures.
It’s best to have any dental treatments done during the second trimester of your pregnancy, after the morning sickness and heightened gag reflex of the first trimester. During the third trimester, it’s not advised that you lay on your back for an extended period of time.
As tempting as it may be to let your dental care slide during pregnancy, stick with your usual brushing and flossing, and don’t skip your dental checkups. A healthy mouth is essential both during and after your pregnancy, so make sure that you prioritize your dental health with professional oral care.
Prioritize Oral Health During Pregnancy
At Carrie Muzny DDS, we understand what an exciting and joyful time that pregnancy can be. We also know that you may have questions and concerns about undergoing any dental treatments during your pregnancy.
We are here to answer any questions you may have and ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond. We provide preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental services to keep your smile looking great at every stage in your life.
Contact us today to schedule a visit or speak to one of our experienced staff about your pregnancy-related dental questions.
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