Can You Go to the Dentist When Pregnant?
During pregnancy, taking care of your teeth is just as important as all other healthcare visits. Many expectant mothers want to know if dental care is safe during pregnancy.
The answer for most women going to the dentist when pregnant is yes. When making your pregnancy dental care visit, be sure to speak with your physician and dentist, particularly if you have a high-risk pregnancy or other medical condition that might require postponing dental treatment.
Because the benefits of dental care outweigh the risks, stay aware of any changes to your teeth or gums, including bleeding, swelling, or redness. If you experience any of these conditions, inform your dentist of these changes.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?
X-rays help to diagnose and treat oral disease. Although many believe that dental x-rays are harmful to pregnant women, the truth is that their low radiation emission makes them safe during pregnancy. Safety precautions prevent dangerous levels of radiation from affecting you and your unborn child. We use protective coverings over your abdomen and thyroid area to minimize radiation exposure. Dental x-rays assist in determining whether you have gum disease and need treatment to prevent it from reaching your baby.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Teeth & Mouth Health?
Some pregnant women experience no discomfort with their teeth. But for women with pre-existing conditions, their issues can become worse or even create new teeth or gum conditions. That is why going to the dentist for a checkup and maintaining good dental hygiene will keep mom and baby healthy.
Expectant moms experience rising hormone levels while pregnant, which can create gum swelling and bleeding. Preventative dental work helps to prevent oral infections, which some studies link to preterm birth.
Root Canals Toothaches & Other Dental Work While Pregnant
Treating cavities and crowns during pregnancy reduces the potential for infection. Dental work while pregnant is ideal during the second trimester. Women in their third trimester may have difficulties with lying on their backs for the time needed to complete dental procedures.
Keep in mind that emergency dental work like extractions and root canals is necessary. However, hold off on elective cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening until after the birth.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause oral health issues such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. When left untreated, it leads to more serious gum disease. In fact, up to 40 percent of pregnant women develop gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. Increasing levels of progesterone create ideal conditions for gingivitis bacteria to grow. It also affects the gum tissue by making it more sensitive to plaque and how the body responds to it.
Symptoms of Gum Disease During Pregnancy
Typically, during the 2nd and 8th months of pregnancy, gum inflammation appears with symptoms such as redness, bleeding during brushing, and swelling of gum tissues.
Cavities and Pregnancy
In the same way, hormones affect the gums in pregnant women, it can also increase the development of cavities, damaged areas on the tooth’s surface caused by bacteria, and tooth decay.
How to Get Rid of Pregnancy Gingivitis
The key to getting rid of pregnancy gingivitis is preventing it from happening. It is vital to develop good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily, flossing at least one time each day, and using a mouth rinse.
Never skip professional teeth cleaning during pregnancy since taking care of your teeth and gums is one of the most important actions to take during this stage of life. Pregnancy Gingivitis treatment often includes removing the affected tissue and antibiotics.
Periodontitis (Gum Disease)
When left untreated, gingivitis results in periodontal disease, a serious gum infection that affects the bones that support the teeth. In some instances, teeth become loose and the dentist must pull or extract them. This condition can also lead to bacteremia, which is bacteria in the bloodstream that requires immediate treatment.