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Can You Get Dental Work While Pregnant?

pregnant

Is dental work while pregnant safe for you? In between visits to the doctor, trips to the hospital, and the nursery, some women are just tired of seeing white coats.

However, visiting the dentist shouldn’t fall off of the pregnancy to-do list before the baby arrives. Going to a dentist for regular checkups and dental work during pregnancy is not only safe but also fundamental to keep your oral health on point.

Pregnant women can go to a dentist to fix cavities and get dental cleanings. Plus, a dentist can help with any pregnancy-related dental symptoms.

Some women may experience some issues while they are pregnant. And it is important to address them out.

The ADA (American Dental Association) and different associations encourage women to get dental work while pregnant.

Professionals believe that is a crucial period in a woman’s life, and keeping oral care and health is directly related to excellent overall health as well.

Here you can find some of the most common concerns that women have about going to the dentist while they are pregnant.

Perhaps you can clarify some of your doubts reading this; if not, you can always contact your dentist and be sure everything is okay for you and your baby.

 

Can Pregnancy Affect Your Mouth?

 

mouth problems

Even when most women make it nine months without dental problems, pregnancy can make some conditions worse and create new ones too.

Many women don’t pay attention to this because they consider that there are more important issues to drive their attention to. 

However, regular checkups and proper oral care habits can help maintain your mouth healthy. How pregnancy affects my mouth? Let’s see: 

 

1.- Pregnancy and Gingivitis

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your mouth. For instance, some women develop “pregnancy gingivitis,” a condition that can cause gums’ inflammation and tenderness. The gums can also bleed while brushing and flossing; this is a warning sign that something is wrong. 

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to more severe ways of gum diseases, including periodontal conditions. A dentist may suggest more frequent dental cleanings to prevent it. 

And even if you are not pregnant, regular visits to your dentist are crucial to keeping your mouth healthy. 

Gingivitis is a mild way of gum disease that can cause redness, irritation, and swelling of your gingiva—the tissue around the base of your teeth.

Patients need to take gingivitis very seriously and treat it right away before it is too late, especially because it can evolve and lead to periodontitis and tooth loss. 

 

2.- More Risk of Developing Tooth Decay 

Being pregnant is always an exciting phase in women’s life. Thinking about the baby’s name, coping changes in life and body, and also all hormonal shifts that can take you away from the regular care of your oral health. 

It might be comfortable that you get to focus on a baby’s health other than yours. However, you need to think about your health.

For several reasons, pregnant women may be more at risk of developing cavities. If you are eating more carbohydrates than usual, you can be more prone to tooth decay. 

In addition to it, morning sickness can boost the amount of acid in a pregnant woman’s mouth. Being exposed to this acid can erode at the outer covering of the enamel of your teeth. 

Brushing and flossing at least twice a day can also fall by the wayside during pregnancy. It can be due to more sensitive gag reflex, morning illness, tender gums, and fatigue. 

It is especially crucial to maintain your oral care routine and habits. 

 

3.- Pregnancy Tumors

Pregnancy tumors, also known as pyogenic granulomas, can appear on pregnant women’s gums, most often in the second trimester.

Overgrowths of tissue is not cancer but rather just inflammation that occurs most often between teeth. 

Pregnancy tumors may be linked to excess plaque buildup. An article by the Maternal and Child Health Journal describes the combination of plaque and hormonal changes that cause pregnant women’s gum tissues to swell and inflame. 

 Because this effect is even more common in the tissue between your teeth, around 5% of pregnant women increased swelling or pregnancy tumors.

Tumors bleed easily and have a raw-looking, red raspberry-like look. 

As tumors tend to bleed, it can interfere with chewing, and in some cases, they can even lead to different infections. 

Pregnancy tumors can generally disappear after the baby is born. However, if you are really concerned about it, book an appointment with your doctor to discuss removing them. 

 

Getting Dental Work While Pregnant

 

pregnant woman at the dentist

 

If you are going to the dentist and already know you are pregnant, there are a few things to remember:

  • Let your dental hygienist know: your dentist must know you are pregnant and if you are taking any medications or special treatments for your baby’s care. Your dentist hygienist has the responsibility to change or hold if any of the treatments you are doing can cause any danger to your health.
  • X-rays: it is well known that X-rays should not be taken while pregnant to avoid any complications for the baby. So, your dentist may postpone them until the baby is born. In case, X-rays are needed and cannot be delayed, your dental hygienist has the responsibility to use a special collar to avoid exposures to your abdomen area.
  • Wait until the second trimester: at this point, the baby should be developed entirely, and the first symptoms of pregnancy should be diminished or already disappeared. But if you are taking an unusual treatment for your oral health, your dentist will sometimes prescribe you to wait until the baby is born. If, while pregnant, you have an emergency with your teeth, your dentist must take special considerations and provide the best medication for you and your baby.

 

Don’t Be Afraid of Dental Care During Pregnancy

 

Aside from your hormonal changes while pregnant, you may also see changes in your oral health. It is highly recommended to keep your mouth as clean as possible by brushing it daily at least twice a day. 

The hormonal fluctuations can change your gum reaction to dental plaque, and this can cause some irritation, inflammation, and some pain. Researchers have also shown that the number of bacterias can be incremented while pregnancy.

If you are affected by morning sickness, it can be harder for you to brush your teeth due to the smell of toothpaste. It is recommended to try different flavors. Remember, you can ask your dentist for advice to help you keep your oral health on point.

 

Dental Procedures That Can Be Done While Pregnant

 

 

You may be asking yourself what procedures you can get while pregnant, and the answer is simple: You can get most of them. But, the advice is to wait until the second trimester. This is the safest period to have dental work while pregnant.

  • Tooth extractions: a dentist will always try to avoid tooth extractions by doing different treatments, but if this is necessary, you will have to wait until the second trimester to avoid exposure to your baby’s health in case you need X-rays.
  • Root canal: this procedure can be made at any stage of your pregnancy, but in case X-rays are needed, it will be recommended to wait until your second trimester of pregnancy. Root canal treatment can stop the pain from tooth decay if it reaches until the nerve area.
  • Teeth whitening: if you are under a teeth whitening treatment, your dentist may recommend that you continue with it after the baby is born. It may be uncomfortable for you to stay still while the procedure is being done.

So as you can see, even pregnant, you can still get some dental work done without any problems.

 

Sugar, Pregnancy and Oral Health

 

sugar

 

While pregnant, your desire to eat sweet stuff will increase, even if you used not to consume these products before. 

Sugar can produce cavities and decay on your teeth, so you must know how much sugar products you are eating, even if you are pregnant.

Aside from the problems that these sweet products can produce to you, it can also affect your health; you can be at risk of developing Diabetes 2 type.

Think about all outcomes of consuming too many sugar products. It will affect your teeth, but it can also affect your health and your baby’s.

You are going to the dentist regularly as well as continuing those checkups while pregnant will you’re your teeth protected from cavities and other problems that may be developed. 

It is also imperative to continue with a strict habit of brushing your teeth twice a day and floss every day.

Remember, going to your dental hygienist is as crucial as going to your regular doctor for a checkup. 

You will be focused on your baby and yourself, which is good. But do not forget to make an oral examination appointment.

It is really important to keep good oral health and avoid complications or emergency treatments while pregnant to prevent any baby exposure.

When visiting your dentist, keep on mind they need to know your current health situation, and even more if you are pregnant. 

Make sure you ask all questions needed if you are under a specific treatment, and for recommendations while pregnant for your oral health. 

Feel free to contact us if you have any other concern about pregnancy and oral care, our team will be glad to help you resolve your concerns.

Dr. Cirenia Aparicio
Dr. Cirenia Aparicio
Dr. Cirenia Aparicio Miranda is our dentist in Tijuana and is hands down the best Mexico dentist. Distinguished by being one of the few members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Aparicio Miranda ́s work is synonymous with excellence and quality. She is a Mexico dentist accredited by the AACD and U.S. licensed dentist. With over 20 years of experience in the field of dentistry, Dr. Aparicio Miranda has changed the lives of thousands through her devotion to Dentistry and tender care.

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