Is dental work during pregnancy safe?
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Dental treatment can be done at any time during pregnancy. However, the best time to perform elective dental treatment during pregnancy is in the second trimester, weeks 14 through 20.
Keep in mind that if you have a dental infection or swelling, you might need immediate treatment. The consequences of not treating an infection during pregnancy outweigh the possible risks of the medications used during dental treatment.
If you plan to have offspring, it is a good idea to have a dental check before becoming pregnant. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your chewing apparatus as part of dental care and recommend treatment if necessary (and only then).
In any case, let your dentist know that you are pregnant, as certain major and more complex treatments should only be carried out during pregnancy in an emergency. In general, however, there is nothing to be said against the usual anaesthetic injection and even an X-ray of the jaw – under the usual precautionary measures – even with pregnant women.
Many pregnant women wonder if dental treatment could harm their babies. Don’t worry: visits to the dentist and dental treatment during pregnancy are usually safe. Nevertheless, we recommend that you postpone unnecessary interventions until after the birth of your child, if possible. This is even more true of
- High-risk pregnancies,
- Diseases requiring treatment and
- Regular medication use.
Why Before and Not During Pregnancy?
A caries treatment can sometimes make the removal of old fillings necessary. We take a very critical view of this, especially with amalgam fillings. While the skilled dentist will take every precaution to prevent amalgam particles from entering the body, it should not be let down.
Some suspect untreated, periodontal disease to cause premature births or miscarriages. There is no real scientific evidence for this yet, but we prefer to play it safe in the interests of pregnant women.
Many dental treatments take place under local anaesthesia. Although they make modern anaesthetics no significant risk to the unborn child, we want to avoid unnecessary medication.
It is also much easier and more relaxed to undergo dental treatments before your planned pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience pregnancy sickness and are often tired. These are not good conditions for a visit to the dentist. As your stomach grows, it also becomes more uncomfortable to sit in the dentist’s chair. By the way: If you find sitting in the dentist’s chair uncomfortable, speak to your dentist. He will help you take a comfortable sitting position – if necessary with the help of a pillow.
By deferring treatments until before (or after) pregnancy, you are doing the best for your child. Dental emergencies are an exception. It would be wrong to wait here, as untreated emergencies resulting from inflammation in the oral cavity can negatively affect.
Is an X-Ray Allowed at the Dentist?
There are situations when your dentist cannot do without x-rays to make a diagnosis. If there is a medical reason, an X-ray examination can therefore be done. Otherwise, the examination should be postponed until after the birth. This is especially true in the first 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
However, these are purely fundamental considerations: In conventional X-ray diagnostics (e.g. when taking a lung scan), radiation doses of well below ten may occur, corresponding to natural cosmic radiation. These are even lower for x-rays in the jaw area. If the usual safety precautions are observed (lead apron over the pelvic area), the scattered radiation to the uterus is in any case negligibly short – at least many times less than a long-haul flight during pregnancy.
Can I get an Anesthetic Injection?
You don’t need to worry that you will be in pain without anaesthesia. Painless treatment is also not a problem during pregnancy. Lidocaine preparations (e.g. Xylocain®) or etidocaine are recommended. Articaine (e.g. Ubistesin ®) and Bupivacin can also be used with the addition of adrenaline. The low adrenaline concentration of around 1: 200,000 does not affect the blood flow in the placenta. However, norepinephrine, felypressin and octapressin should be avoided as additives.
Can an old Amalgam Filling be Removed?
Yes, this is possible with severe toothache. Treatment with a dental dam or rubber dam should be carried out with good suction to avoid contact with the amalgam. New amalgam fillings are no longer placed during pregnancy.
Dizziness and malaise, sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations and nausea: the so-called vena cava compression syndrome can increase to the point of circulatory collapse and is caused by the pressure of the uterus on the large vena cava behind it. Too much blood is not pumped back from the body to the heart, it sinks in the periphery, and the blood pressure drops rapidly.
The treatment can be performed in a position inclined slightly to the left to prevent vena cava syndrome, possibly with a pillow under the right hip.
Antibiotics are very cautious when prescribed during pregnancy. However, if antibiotic therapy is necessary during pregnancy, preparations from the active ingredient groups penicillins, ampicillin, cephalosporins and macrolides are the agents of choice. Macrolides, e.g. erythromycin, are an alternative for penicillin allergies.
Tetracyclines can disrupt tooth and bone formation and are therefore no longer used in pregnant women.
Irrigation of the wound with the aminoglycoside antibiotic neomycin is also not advisable because it is suspected of causing hearing damage in the unborn child. Mouthwashes with chlorhexidine, on the other hand, are harmless, as is sage tea.
Untreated inflammation of the gums (periodontitis) during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth or a low birth weight by a factor of seven due to the high bacterial load!
Your hormonal balance changes during pregnancy. This leads to an increased risk of inflammation of the gums (pregnancy gingivitis) in some women. This can occur even with the best oral hygiene and previously healthy gums. The gums are reddened, bleed when touched (e.g. when brushing your teeth) and the teeth may be somewhat loosened. Untreated pregnancy gingivitis can develop into periodontitis with subsequent tooth loss (hence the vernacular: lose a tooth with every child.)
Severe vomiting or cravings for sweets and treats change the pH value in the mouth. This favours the development of tooth decay and loss of tooth substance.
The bacteria that cause tooth decay are usually passed on from parents to children (kisses, licking pacifiers). The worse the parents’ oral health, the greater the risk for their child to develop tooth decay quickly.
These are weighty reasons to have your oral health checked before pregnancy if you wish to have children and to have any necessary treatments carried out.
However, Professional teeth cleaning during pregnancy has real benefits, unlike treatments that can be postponed after the birth. By removing plaque and thoroughly cleaning the gum line, inflammation of the gums can be avoided, and the risks of existing inflammation can be minimized.
Before any treatment, please let your dentist know that you are pregnant and in what month. If you take medication regularly, let him know.
You should have two appointments during pregnancy. The first should be in the 12th-16th. The second week of pregnancy takes place in the 28th-32nd week of pregnancy. Week. In this way, any inflammation of the gums or other problems can be recognized quickly and treated easily. As an optimal preventive measure, you should have one or two professional tooth cleanings carried out during pregnancy to support oral hygiene at home. This is often made more difficult by the hormonal loosened gums and the associated bleeding / sensitive tooth necks.
If you are in pain, do not hesitate to go to the dentist. The anaesthetics used for anaesthesia in dentistry today do not pose a risk to the unborn life. The stress of pain is more harmful to the child than brief pain treatment.
In the second trimester of pregnancy, even simple treatments such as filling therapy can usually be carried out safely. In the first and third, only pure pain treatments should be used.
Larger treatments during pregnancy are very stressful and, in some cases, not possible because, for example, X-raying is not allowed. Usually, only pain treatment can be carried out. Pregnancy and the associated health burdens are exhausting enough. If possible, women should avoid other toothaches. If you already want to have children, go to your dentist for a thorough examination and get advice.
Dental Care Tips for Pregnants
Dental health has a huge impact on the general health of people. If you are healthy, so is your baby. Good oral hygiene is therefore particularly important – especially to avoid or contain the periodontal disease of pregnancy. Here are our dental care tips for pregnant women:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a medium-weight brush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay attention to the correct tooth brushing technique.
- With dental floss and interdentally brushes, you can also reach the hard-to-reach spaces between the teeth.
- For additional plaque control, use an antimicrobial mouthwash before bed.
In some pregnant women, brushing their teeth in the morning causes gagging. In these cases, it is helpful not to brush your teeth until the worst of the nausea is over. Use a soft children’s toothbrush with a small head and concentrate on your breathing while cleaning your back teeth.
- If you feel very sick, you can try brushing your teeth without toothpaste. However, after brushing, apply some fluoride toothpaste to your teeth to help strengthen the enamel. Do not rinse your teeth afterwards. If possible, please return to your normal tooth brushing routine as soon as possible.
- Stomach acid increases the risk of tooth decay. If you vomited, you should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. This gives the tooth enamel time to recover from the acid attack. After vomiting, rinse your mouth with water to wash away some of the acids.
- There is a good home remedy for pregnant women who vomit very often: baking soda. Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in water and use it to rinse your teeth. Baking soda neutralizes the acids.
Some women get swollen and sore gums, which may bleed, during pregnancy. Bleeding gums are caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding. This is also called pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease.
Keeping teeth and gums healthy in pregnancy
It’s very important to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy while you’re pregnant. The best way to prevent or deal with gum problems is to practise good oral hygiene.
Go to the dentist so they can give your teeth a thorough clean and show you how to keep your teeth clean at home.
Here’s how you can look after your teeth and gums:
- Clean your teeth carefully twice a day for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste – ask your dentist to show you a good brushing method to remove plaque.
- Floss once a day to remove small bits of food from between your teeth, which will help to prevent the build-up of plaque.
- Brushing is best with a small-headed toothbrush with soft filaments – make sure it’s comfortable to hold.
- Avoid having sugary drinks (such as fizzy drinks or sweet tea) and sugary foods too often – try to keep them to mealtimes.
- If you’re hungry between meals, snack on foods such as vegetables, fresh fruit or plain yoghurt, and avoid sugary or acidic foods (find more healthy snack ideas).
- Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
- Stop smoking, as it can make gum disease worse.
- A daily salt rinse (1 teaspoon of salt added to a cup of warm water) can help reduce gum inflammation. Swirl the wash around your mouth a few times before spitting it out (do not swallow).
- If you have morning sickness (nausea and vomiting), rinse your mouth with plain water after each time you are sick. This will help prevent the acid in your vomit from damaging your teeth.
Do not brush your teeth straight away as they will be softened by the acid from your stomach. Wait about an hour before brushing.
Dental treatments to avoid in pregnancy
When you go to the dentist, make sure they know you’re pregnant.
Discuss with your dentist whether any new or replacement fillings should be delayed until after your baby is born. The Department of Health and Social Care advises that amalgam fillings should not be removed during pregnancy.
If you need a dental X-ray, your dentist will usually wait until you’ve had your baby, even though most dental X-rays do not affect the tummy (abdomen) or pelvic area.