As a pregnant woman, the health and well-being of your baby is undoubtedly one of your primary concerns. Unfortunately, the joys of pregnancy often include new dental challenges, due to hormonal and physical changes. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the newest information about how safe it is now to obtain many necessary dental treatments throughout your pregnancy.
#1-New Evidence Suggests That Severe Gum Disease Can Result In Low Birth Weight And Early Birth
It is important to first understand that almost half of all Americans have some form of gum disease, with the most common type being its early form, gingivitis. In addition, at least 60% of pregnant woman have gingivitis. Gingivitis is a chronic irritation of the gums as the result of plaque buildup, while periodontitis is its more advanced form. Periodontitis causes the gums to pull away from the bone, creating tiny pockets around the teeth where bacteria can hide. That obviously makes effective brushing and flossing more challenging and infection becomes more likely.
Since so many people have gingivitis, it is a good idea to consult with your dentist to treat it before you become pregnant. If that is not possible, you should do so as soon as possible, so that the problem does not worsen due to your pregnancy. If left untreated, some research suggests that simply having periodontitis, as roughly 30% of pregnant woman do, can cause your baby to be born early or full-term with a low birth-weight.
#2-The Second Trimester Is The Safest Point To Have Non-emergency Dental Care
Although dental work is generally considered to be safe for the baby, there is no reason to expose your little one to unnecessary medications or procedures. As a result, current recommendations are to schedule any non-critical services, like deep cleaning, small cavities, root canals when no pain or infection presents, etc during the second trimester.
That suggestion exists because the first trimester is when the baby is doing the majority of its development, so avoiding any sedatives or unnecessary treatments is a good idea. In addition, unexpected nausea can make the use of medication especially difficult. During your third trimester, it is often hard to recline for long periods of time.
#3-Emergency Dental Care Can Be Accessed Anytime
Although it is best to delay routine care until the second trimester whenever possible, emergency dental care can be accessed at any time. The risks of a dental infection, including its spread through the rest of the body and the pain, are not safe during your pregnancy.
There are both antibiotics and pain management options that are safe or present with only a very small amount of risk for your baby. It is also possible to limit the risks of x-rays, as the danger from severe dental pain or infection are usually considered to be higher than the minuscule risks associated with your care.
In conclusion, dental care during pregnancy has often been ignored or misunderstood by both patients and dentists. Standard dental care, including cleaning and the treatment of gum disease, is best received during your second trimester. Emergency dental care while you are pregnant, for pain, infections, broken teeth, etc. should not be delayed and you should contact your dentist right away.
To learn more, contact a family and cosmetic dentistry clinic like Adams Dental Center.