How to manage your dental care when you’re expecting is a common question among pregnant women. Preventative dental cleanings and exams while you are pregnant are just as important, if not more important than normal. Rapidly changing hormones can cause swelling of your gums (pregnancy gingivitis) causing them to bleed, trap food, and cause irritation. If you suffer from morning sickness or crave carbohydrates your teeth may also be exposed to more sugary and acidic environments than usual, leading to tooth decay. Keeping up with your preventative care can keep you in check from having dental problems during your pregnancy.
What about when you need work done like fillings, root canals, and crowns? Typically elective treatment is best to put the work off until after having your baby. For example, a procedure done for cosmetic reasons is best postponed until after your baby is born. If active decay is present your dentist can best advise you how to proceed. Sometimes if the cavity is very small, treatment can be postponed until after birth. Larger problems should be addressed right away to avoid bigger problems down the road. If you do need to have work done while you are pregnant the best time is during the second trimester. At this point, the fetal organs are done developing and you don’t have to worry about discomfort from lying on your back like you may have during your third trimester.
In the case of an emergency like an infected tooth, see your dentist right away! Recent studies have shown local anesthetics and dental x-rays with a lead apron shield to be safe for unborn babies. Having an infected tooth that causes pain and stress will actually harm your baby more than having the tooth treated. If you do need to take pain medication for a toothache before you get in with your dentist, make sure you stick with Tylenol.
Your dentist should be well aware of how to manage pregnant patients so make sure that even if you think there is a chance that you are pregnant you alert your dentist so
they can properly care for you.
If you are looking for a dentist in Elma or East Aurora, Springbrook Family Dental can help you with your dental care during your pregnancy. Contact us to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.