Dr. Ken Yabuki
Should you are should you not continue your dental care while pregnant. It is a question that all expectant mothers consider. All instincts are on full to protect your unborn child from any outside influence. However surprisingly to some, dental care becomes even more important during this expecting period. Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe, but are highly recommended.
Pregnancy affects the entire body including the month and teeth. Because you gums and teeth can be effected by hormone changes in your body while pregnant, you will need to pay close attention to your oral health. The hormone know has progesterone can increase inflammation of the gums and cause a condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis can damage the infrastructure of your teeth and while a common occurrence that usually goes away after the child is born, the damage to your own health is already done. This is why keeping your checkup and cleanings is of even greater importance during pregnancy.
Pregnancy granuloma is a reddish growth that often appears along the upper gum-line. This reddish growth bleeds easily and can form crusts along the gum-line. These growths are not dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable and affect how you eat and talk. Pregnancy granulomas usually happens during 2nd trimester and affects two to ten percent of pregnant women. They usually go away after the child is born.
Cavities During Pregnancy
The safest course of action is to postpone all unnecessary dental work until after the baby is born. However, sometimes emergency dental work, such as a root canal or extraction due to an abscesses or infected tooth, the luxury of delay is lost. Be sure to inform your dentist of your pregnancy so the right treatment guidelines and screenings can be done.
What About Medications Used In Dental Work During Pregnancy?
Currently, there are conflicting studies about possible adverse effects on the developing baby from medications used during dental work. Lidocaine is the most commonly used drug for dental work. Lidocaine does cross the placenta after administration. Additionally, dental work often requires antibotics to prevent or treat infections. Anitiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin and clindamycin are labeld category B for safety in pregnancy. However, for complete safety make sure to fully consult your medical doctor and dentist, in order to coordinate your treatment.
What About X-Rays Used In Dental Work During Pregnancy?
Routine x-rays, typically taken during annual exams, can usually be postponed until after the birth. If x-rays are necessary to perform a urgent dental procedure, the American College of Radiology has indicated that no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation does significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus. With proper shielding, the ADA and ACOG, consider x-rays safe. For complete safety make sure to fully consult your medical doctor and dentist, in order to coordinate your treatment.
American Dental Association (ADA) Recommendations
- The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends pregnant women eat a balanced diet, brush their teeth thoroughly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily.
- Have preventive exams and cleanings during your pregnancy.
- Let your dentist know you are pregnant.
- Postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or after delivery, if possible.
- Elective procedures should be postponed until after the delivery.
- Keep your legs uncrossed while you sit in the dentist chair to maintain circulation.
- Take a pillow to help keep you and the baby more comfortable.
Surf City Dentist would like to be your family dentist. Call us for an in-person interview appointment. Your health, your family, your kids are important to us.
This blog is for advisory purposes only. Actual medical/dental diagnosis can not be done online. This blog does not replace the opinion or procedures recommended by others licensed professionals in the field.
Please see a licensed dentist or doctor.