ORAL HEALTH IN PREGNANCY
Q: Can I have dental treatment done when I'm pregnant?
The answer is YES.
Pregnancy hormones can affect your gums negatively. The hormones make your gums more reactive to the bacteria living in your mouth, meaning they easily become inflammed, swollen and bleed as a result.
Dietary changes, increase food intake and more frequent snacking can be damaging to your teeth and cause cavities.
We can't forget morning sickness!
The increased acid attack on your enamel can weaken your teeth, eroding your enamel making them more sensitive. This acidic oral environment also contributes to cavity formation in your teeth.
So in fact it is a very important time to keep an eye on your teeth.
Q: When is the best time to have dental treatment when I'm pregnant?
During the 2nd trimester.
This the best time to visit the dentist. Hopefully by this time you are no longer suffering from any morning sickness or nausea so you can actually get out of the house and begin normal activities again. And more importantly your baby has formed all of the major organs, your pregnancy is established.
Beyond the 2nd trimester you often become too large in the belly to lay comfortably on your back for an extended period of time. The weight of the baby and placenta causes compression of the inferior vena cava in this position. This vein is the main pathway of return for blood in your body, so compressing this area can make you feel faint and affect your circulation, therefore affecting the blood supply to your baby.
Q: What dental treatments can I have done whilst I'm pregnant.
Check-up and teeth cleaning.
Root canal therapy.
At Enlighten Dental we use special medicaments to treat the infection in the tooth that do not contain the antibiotic tetracycline, which can stain the developing baby teeth. Root canal therapy during pregnancy is definitely indicated. In fact it is more beneficial than the alternative, which is nursing a chronic tooth infection which can spread into your blood stream and adversely affect your developing baby.
Best to avoid:
Teeth whitening procedures - for the simple fact that you may ingest a small amount of peroxide during such procedures should be avoided during pregnancy.
X-rays especially if they are not digital (ultra low-exposure) X-rays.
*Your great dentist at Enlighten Dental Northbridge will avoid the use of any local anaesthetics containing felypressin or octapressin. These are chemical molecules which can, in large doses, mimick the effects of oxytocin (the natural pregnancy hormone responsible for the induction of labour). So, yes, we want to avoid you going into labour in the dental chair!