DENTAL HEALTH DURING PREGNANCY

 

So, you’re pregnant. Congratulations! So as far as your teeth and oral health are concerned, what should you expect?

WHAT IS PREGNANCY GINGIVITIS?

With a change in hormones there is an exaggerated immune response of the body to plaque on the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis. This is the early state of periodontal disease (gum disease), which is the loss of bone between teeth from the bacterial poisons given off by this bacteria. (Plaque IS a colony of bacteria). This bacteria can get into your bloodstream and cause damage to the fetus, resulting in a risk of increased health conditions for the baby, according to the BETTER HEALTH CHANNEL. These risks can include impaired vision and hearing. There is also a risk of premature birth with all of the complications that come along with that.

CAN I GET DENTAL WORK WHEN I’M PREGNANT?

According to THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS in a July, 2013 news release, “Teeth cleanings and dental X-rays are safe for pregnant women…” They went on to say that “we can all reassure our patients that routing teeth cleanings, dental X-rays and local anesthesia are safe during pregnancy…” “Pregnancy is not a reason to delay root canals or filling cavities if they are needed because putting off treatment may lead to further complications.”

CAN I HAVE LAUGHING GAS WHEN I’M PREGNANT?

It’s very nice to see this article, but dentists are pretty conservative when it comes to doing any procedure requiring a local anesthetic. So, I try to wait until after childbirth before addressing any dental issue that is not pressing. If we can’t wait, I check with the patient’s ob-gyn physician and get an OK from them in writing (fax is OK) before proceeding with any treatment. Also, patients who like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for their comfort, well, they can’t have it when pregnant. The side effects of this drug are not known as to its affects on the unborn.

To summarize, it’s best to get your oral health squared away before conception. It’s recommended to get a routine teeth cleaning while pregnant.   If a dental issue arises we can treat you with a high level of certainty that the baby will be unharmed from the procedure. And no laughing gas.