Dentist in pregnancy: can we go to the dentist in pregnancy, how do we treat cavities, teeth and gums? X-rays and anesthesia can be done
Toothache in pregnancy? Can paracetamol be taken as a painkiller while waiting to go to the dentist and find out the cause of the pain? Let’s start immediately by saying that there is no reason not to go to the dentist during pregnancy, on the contrary: the changes that occur in the nine months of gestation make the mouth, teeth and gums more vulnerable to the onset of infections and various ailments. kind. So not only can you go to the dentist, but it is also advisable and recommended.
In this article
Caries in pregnancy
Pregnant women may be more prone to developing caries for a variety of reasons which include:
- a diet richer in carbohydrates;
- morning sickness and vomiting can increase the amount of acid that can corrode the outer covering of the tooth (enamel);
- poor oral hygiene caused by morning sickness and nausea, but also by increased gingival sensitivity.
For prevent tooth decay it is therefore important to maintain your hygiene routine. If you suffer from frequent nausea and episodes of vomiting or hypermesis gravidarum, dentists recommend that you:
- often eat small amounts of food
- after vomiting, rinse your mouth with water and a teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize acidity
- chew gum without sugar or containing xylitol after eating
- use delicate toothbrushes and non-abrasive fluoride toothpastes.
Anesthesia: what are the risks for the fetus?
If you are pregnant and you need afilling, root canal treatment or tooth extraction don’t worry because several evidences show that i anesthetic drugs used are safe for both the woman and the fetus.
In particular, research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association involved a group of pregnant women who had to undergo procedures involving the use of anesthetics and a control group. The study showed that these treatments were safe during pregnancy as well there were no differences in the rate of miscarriages, birth defects, prematurity or baby weight. The research did not reveal any evidence that dental treatment with anesthetics is harmful during pregnancy.
Your dentist will likely ask you to do one radiography to the teeth before intervening with specific procedures. Also in this case there is no need to fear: the X-ray radiation for the dental arches they are extremely low and the dentist or operator will cover the patient with an apron with lead which serves to protect the abdomen – and also the thyroid – and to reduce radiation exposure as much as possible.
In any case, many dentists and gynecologists recommend not having radiation in the first trimester and postponing any procedures to the second trimester.
Gingivitis in pregnancy
The mouth can be affected by hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy. For example, some women develop a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis“, an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling, pain and tension, but also gum bleeding when brushing your teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease, such as periodontitis.
Gingivitis in pregnancy should not be underestimated because it has been shown that the infectious agents responsible for inflammation can pass to the fetus through the placenta, increasing the risk of premature birth, fetal growth retardation, spontaneous abortion, preeclampsia.
When is it best to go to the dentist?
The official guidelines on dental care in prenatal age and in pregnancy, issued by Ministry of Health, specify that dental care is safe and effective during pregnancy and you should contact your dentist in case of
- gum bleeding,
- dental pain,
- presence of cavities in the teeth,
- movable teeth,
- swelling of the gums.
During the first quarter it is recommended to make a check-up visit to the dentist for the diagnosis and possible therapies of pathological processes that require immediate treatment.
The period of pregnancy between the 14th and 20th week – therefore in the second trimester – it is the best one to undergo dental treatment, while elective oral therapies can be postponed after childbirth.
Revised by Francesca Capriati