Dental Work During Pregnancy
For expecting moms, a lot of questions can arise concerning dental work. There are definitely some things to know before getting any dental work done during pregnancy. Some questions pregnant women may have will include; what types of medications are safe to take and are X-rays and local anesthetics ok during pregnancy? The safest course of action for dental work while pregnant, is waiting until after the pregnancy to get any work done. However, work concerning cavities, fillings or crowns should be treated to reduce the risk of infection. Also, during pregnancy, women can expect some dental related issues such as, Pregnancy Gingivitis and increased chance of tooth decay to arise during that period of time.
For pregnant women the best time to get any type of dental work is during the second trimester of their pregnancy. The first trimester is the most fragile stage of pregnancy so it is best to avoid anything that could negatively affect the mother or child. During the third trimester it may be difficult for the woman to lie comfortably on her back for an extended amount of time.
Medications and Local Anesthetics
Studies concerning local anesthetics are somewhat conflicting but most physicians and dentists agree that even when the anesthetic, lidocaine, is used to numb the area where the dentists will be working, this drug still will be carried to the placenta. However, in one studied it showed that lidocaine had no effect on the rate of miscarriages, birth defects, prematurity or weight of the baby. During dental work the amount of anesthesia used should be as little as possible but enough to make the patient comfortable, as stress on the body can cause complications during pregnancy.
Before being prescribed medications from your dentist make sure they know that you are pregnant. This information will help to make sure that you are being prescribed the correct type and amount of medication for pregnancy. Antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin, which are safe for pregnancy, may be prescribed to you after the procedure.
If you are suffering from a dental emergency you may need to have your mouth x-rayed by your dentist. X-rays are low enough in radiation that they are safe for pregnant women that are getting dental work done. To protect your baby, your dentist will cover your abdomen with a lead vest and will cover your thyroid as well, to protect it from radiation.
Oral Health During Pregnancy
For some women, dental discomfort can increase during pregnancy. Women that have never had dental problems before may begin to experience Pregnancy Gingivitis or tooth decay. These problems can happen for a number of reasons. The hormones during pregnancy have been known to make the gums more sensitive and can cause bleeding and swelling. Your dentist my recommend more frequent cleanings to make sure more serious problems do not arise after your pregnancy. Tooth decay is common as well, especially if the woman is experiencing morning sickness. Morning sickness causes your teeth to come in contact with more acid than it is used to, which eats away at tooth enamel. It is important to makes sure you have a proper oral hygiene routine and continue to brush your teeth twice daily and floss. Poor dental habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and Preeclampsia. As mentioned before, it is best to do dental work during the second trimester but if possible, waiting until after giving birth is the safest bet for the mother and child. For more information about dental work during pregnancy, contact Envision Dental.