It’s a common myth that pregnant women shouldn’t go to the dentist. We’re not sure where this idea came from, but patients who are expecting ask us about it all the time. The truth is, you can absolutely go to your regular scheduled dental visits when you’re pregnant—in fact, it’s more important than ever to make sure your gums and teeth are in good shape.
You’re probably very familiar with the morning sickness and heartburn that goes along with pregnancy, but there are also oral health issues brought on by hormones too. These range from gingivitis to small tumors on the gum tissue. When you visit the dentist during pregnancy, we’ll help keep your mouth healthy so once baby is born, you’re not dealing with tooth decay and gum disease.
What Dental Treatments Can You Have During Pregnancy?
A lot of skipped dental visits during pregnancy come down to one thing: nausea. If your gag reflex is overactive or your morning sickness somehow seems to last all day long, we understand that visiting our office for an exam and cleaning can be tough. If you need to delay your routine dental check-up until you reach your second trimester, that’s better than skipping it altogether.
There’s no risk associated with having an oral examination and dental cleaning when you’re pregnant. Before your appointment, let us know if you have a high risk pregnancy, are taking any medications, or have any special instructions from your doctor. We will only take x-rays if needed for an emergency situation. we provide a leaded apron and collar for protection, but if you’d prefer to wait until your baby is born, we are happy to accommodate that request.
If you need restorative procedures or other dental work, rest assured that dental treatment with local anesthetics is safe during pregnancy. Delaying needed dental procedures can be detrimental to your oral health, so there’s no reason not to get the filling or crown you need when you’re pregnant. Our preference would be in your 3D trimester . The consequences of not getting the work you need outweigh the risks of dental treatment during pregnancy.
How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health
Hormonal fluctuations, changes in diet, and morning sickness can cause pregnancy gingivitis. Signs of this include swelling, bleeding, and tenderness in the gums. Left untreated, this gingivitis can continue after pregnancy and progress into gum disease, so treatment is important.
Pregnancy tumors are another change to the gums that occur when you’re expecting. They usually appear during the second trimester; they’re not actual tumors, but inflammation between the teeth. These tumors usually disappear after your baby is born.
Dietary changes and morning sickness also leave your teeth prone to decay, especially if pregnancy has made you lax with your brushing and flossing. If you feel nauseated while you brush your teeth, try switching to a different toothpaste or take a break by sitting down for a few minutes between brushing your upper teeth and lower teeth.