Almost every form of dental treatment you can imagine is safe during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, your dentist will go over any risks with you prior to your treatment. Nonetheless, there are certain procedures that may be forestalled until after a baby has been delivered or adapted to the mother’s current condition. On the other hand, it is more likely that a pregnant woman will need more dental services after delivering a baby than before. Below, we’ll discuss why.
Oral complications and pregnancy
Pregnancy exacerbates several potential oral hygiene issues in your mouth. Gingivitis is possible as your immune system becomes overly aggressive toward bacteria in your gum tissue. Pregnant women tend to get cravings for certain types of junk food which can increase the risk of cavities. Additionally, nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness can cause a host of issues including enamel erosion.
Can dental interventions harm my baby?
Some women may be afraid that X-rays will harm their baby. In the setting of your dentist’s office, you are given a lead vest to prevent the X-rays from penetrating into areas where your baby is located. The X-rays are limited to your head and mouth so you need not concern yourself with the X-rays causing harm to your unborn baby.
On the other hand, periodontitis (gum disease) has been associated with several adverse complications in pregnancy. While scientists don’t know how gum disease harms babies, we do know that it is correlated to specific unwanted outcomes. These include pre-term birth, low birth weight, and pre-eclampsia. In cases where gum disease develops during pregnancy (which is more likely for pregnant women) dental interventions such as scaling and root planing are considered safe for expectant mothers.
Should you wait until after delivering your baby to see a dentist?
While the decision is ultimately up to you, the best medical evidence we have indicates that gum disease is a greater risk to your unborn baby than any dental procedure you can think of. Not only are dental procedures safe during pregnancy, they can also help prevent complications caused by gum disease such as premature delivery, low birth weight, and preeclampsia.
Special considerations when selecting a dentist for pregnant women
Pregnant women may want to wait until after their delivery to seek dental care, but the best course of action based on the latest research is to treat periodontitis before your baby is delivered. Not only is it associated with better outcomes for the baby, but the mother’s oral health will be significantly improved.
For more information, please have a look at the American Dental Association website addressing the topic of dental intervention during pregnancy.
Are You Looking for a Dentist as a Pregnant Woman?
Peak Family Dental Care can help address any concerns you have with procedures if you have recently delivered a baby or are currently pregnant. Call today in Flagstaff to find out more about how your dentist can help you deliver a healthy, happy child.