Taking care of your health is important throughout all stages of life, but it’s especially important when you are expecting. Taking care of your health helps ensure your baby will be healthy too.
Many expecting mothers do their best to eat healthy, exercise, and take vitamins to support the health of their little one. However, did you know that taking care of your teeth and gums can be especially important during pregnancy?
Let’s take a closer look at how oral health can impact the health of your baby and answer some important questions, like if you can get your teeth cleaned while pregnant and if other dental treatments are safe.
Why Oral Health Is So Important During Pregnancy
Oral health is important during pregnancy for a few reasons. Research shows that oral health can affect the length of pregnancy and the even the birth weight of your baby.
For example, mothers with gum disease are more likely to give birth to preterm infants, or babies born before 37 weeks of gestation. Although the reason for this hasn’t been proven, numerous theories have been proposed, one of them that bacteria involved in gum disease could spread in the body and cause an inflammatory response that could cause preterm birth.
In addition, gum disease has also been linked to infants with a low birth weight. Again, reasons for this are not clear, but periodontal disease is considered an independent risk factor for giving birth to babies with low birth weights.
Mothers who have poor oral health, such as untreated cavities and gum disease, can also transmit bacteria from their mouth to their baby, which could predispose their baby to tooth decay and gum disease. In fact, children of mothers with untreated cavities or tooth loss are more than three times likely to have cavities during their childhood.
So now that we’ve seen how important oral health is while expecting, let’s look at what treatments you can safely receive while pregnant.
Can You Get Your Teeth Cleaned While Pregnant?
Teeth cleanings are safe to receive during pregnancy. In fact, getting your teeth professionally cleaned is one of the best ways to lower your risk for gum disease and keep your teeth healthy throughout your pregnancy. And since pregnant women are at higher risk for oral health conditions such as gum disease due to changing hormones in the body, teeth cleanings are especially important. So don’t wait to book your next professional cleaning to keep your smile healthy for you and your baby.
Can You Get a Tooth Pulled While Pregnant?
Yes, you can get a tooth extraction while pregnant. Local anesthesia is safe to receive during pregnancy, and this is the only anesthesia needed for an extraction. So if you have a tooth that is badly decayed, broken, or otherwise needs to be removed, you can safely receive this treatment at your Asheville dental practice without affecting the health of your developing little one.
Is Gum Disease Treatment Safe During Pregnancy?
If you have gum disease and are expecting or are trying to conceive, gum disease treatment is important and may reduce your risk for a premature birth. Non-surgical periodontal therapy is generally considered safe during pregnancy.
Non-surgical treatment for gum disease includes a deep cleaning, also called a root planing and scaling, a procedure in which your dentist will remove plaque, bacteria, and tartar from your teeth as well as from below your gumline to reduce infection and inflammation that contribute to gum disease.
Following up with at-home care, including brushing and flossing, is essential to keeping gum disease from returning. Your dentist may also need to see you back for subsequent cleanings to keep gum disease at bay.
If you have gum disease and require surgical intervention, such as laser surgery or a gum graft, your dentist will let you know when these treatments may be safe to complete and work with you to develop a treatment plan for your gum health in the meantime.
What About Other Types of Dental Work, Such as Crowns, Fillings, and Root Canals?
If you need treatment such as getting a cavity filled, root canal therapy, or having a dental crown placed, it’s important to get these treatments completed to reduce the chance of infection. It’s safe to receive these treatments, even while pregnant.
Tooth decay, a tooth infection, or a broken tooth can all increase your risk for a dental emergency that could not only impact your health, but that of your baby as well. Simply let your dentist in Asheville know you are expecting, and they will ensure your treatment is safe and effective.
Is Cosmetic Dentistry Safe During Pregnancy?
Cosmetic dentistry treatments are not necessary during pregnancy and are generally best avoided. So if you are considering teeth whitening, d
When Is the Best Time to Get Dental Treatments When Expecting?
Although most dental procedures are safe to perform during pregnancy, especially preventative care such as teeth cleanings and exams, experts generally agree that the best time to receive treatment is during the second trimester of pregnancy, which is generally from week 13 to week 26. Based on your oral health concerns, your dentist will advise you when the best time to receive treatments is.
Take the Best Care of Your Smile During Pregnancy
Saunders DDS is your partner in caring for your oral health while you are expecting. Whether you need a regular teeth cleaning, a cavity filled, or treatment for gum disease, our team is here to support your health as well as your little one’s.
If you haven’t gotten a dental exam and are expecting or trying to conceive, schedule an appointment with us to ensure your oral health is on track for both you and your baby. Call us at (828) 277-6060 or reach us online via our contact form to request an appointment.
If you want to know whether performing dental cleaning while pregnant is recommended or need a checkup or any other dental treatment, you can visit our dentist in Asheville. Our team of highly-trained professionals will be delighted to help you.