Pregnancy is a special condition for the expecting mother, especially for whose women who are expecting their first child. However, pregnant women worry about the health of their child and their own health. (Read also five top tips for women’s health).
Good Oral Health for Pregnant Women
One of the many things that pregnant women worry during their pregnancy is the fact if it is safe to go to the dentist, or not?
During pregnancy regular dental checkups are recommended, as well as any preventive dental cleaning. However, certain dental treatments, examinations or medications should be postponed after the child is born.
The change of the hormone levels during pregnancy, have an effect also in the oral and dental health of the pregnant women (Read also: How To Tell If You Are Pregnant). During pregnancy swelling of the gums, bleeding of the gums, and irritation of the gums are more common.
When Is Dental Work in Pregnancy Recommended?
Any dental work is usually avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy. This period is considered as the most vulnerable period of the entire pregnancy. Usually, any dental work necessary during pregnancy should be done in the second trimester of pregnancy. This is the time when all the organs of the developing fetus are completely developed, so the risk of any side effect or complications after dental work is lower. Once, the pregnant woman enters the third trimester, any unnecessary dental work is not necessary and should be postponed after childbirth. During the third trimester, pregnant women usually have a very hard time when lying on their back for a long period of time. Dental work during this period of pregnancy may be a little bit difficult.
No evidence until now has suggested any negative and even harmful effect of the necessary dental work performed during pregnancy, regardless of the pregnancy trimester.
The safest thing to do is to postpone any dental work until childbirth. However, in many cases, emergency dental work is necessary and it can’t be postponed until the end of the pregnancy. Preventive dental work is recommended when avoiding oral infections and any gum disease. The reason is that oral infections, regardless of their origin have been linked to preterm childbirth (Learn also: Healthy Pregnancy and Labor). Any dental work that has to do with cavity filling or even placement of dental crowns are a must as they reduce the chances of possible oral infections.
Is It Safe to Get an X-Ray While I’m Pregnant?
Medications necessary while performing any dental work should be avoided, or used as little as possible. Lidocaine is the most used medication when it comes to dental work and it is a medication that crosses the placenta after administration. Lidocaine should be used just enough to make the pregnant women feel comfortable while performing the dental work.
Antibiotics are another medication type often necessary after a dental work to prevent any possible oral infection. Antibiotics that are safe while pregnant include penicillin, amoxicillin or even clindamycin.
While having a dental procedure or a dental check – up, x-rays are often necessary. X-rays should be postponed after the child is born, even though a lot of dentists consider that dental x-rays are totally safe even while pregnant and that they are not harmful to the developing fetus.
However, the best thing to do is to postpone any unnecessary dental work or cosmetic procedures after the childbirth. But, regular dental check – up should not be avoided and even missed just because of pregnancy. While pregnant, more than ever, dental care and a good dental and oral hygiene are necessary. Due to the pregnancy hormonal changes, increase the risk for different oral and dental problems like gingivitis, periodontitis, etc. If any swelling of the gums occurs, tenderness or even a bleeding of the gums occurs you should get a dental check – up as soon as possible. Good oral hygiene and dental care for women are always recommended, regardless if pregnant or not.