The following information is provided as a general guideline. It is NOT intended in place of professional care. Since every pregnancy may vary, consult your physician or dentist for advice on your particular situation.
Q: Should dental treatment be postponed while pregnant?
A: If your cavities are minor, you may want to wait to have them filled. However, if you have a substantially sizable cavity, the risks of getting a dental filling placed are offset by the risks of bacteria from your cavity in your system!
Another potential risk you would face is that of the anesthetic in your blood stream during treatment, so if you can complete the filling without anesthetic you are also better off.
Sometimes, we can also place a less invasive temporary filling until you are out of any risk. Your dentist will be able to assess the risks vs. needs for you.
Q: Is it safe to get an extraction while pregnant?
A: Women are often safer having a tooth extraction than leaving the bacteria in the tooth and risking the chance of an infection, which could compromise the health of you and your baby. Your dentist can assess the extent of risk for you and I recommend that you inform him or her before your appointment of your pregnancy. Ordinarily, however, if your oral health is not at risk, such procedures are delayed until postpartum.
Q: Is it safe to bleach your teeth while you’re pregnant?
A: That is an excellent question. Unfortunately, the effects of bleaching during pregnancy are not well studied and are essentially unknown. I strongly recommend waiting until after your child is born before risking any effects that bleaching materials might have on the fetus. Many dentists do provide an in-office teeth whitening procedure in which the teeth to be bleached are completely isolated using a rubber dam, reducing, but not eliminating, the risk of bleaching materials entering your system. However, small the risk might be, any elective medical procedures should be postponed.
Q: What should I do if I notice my top teeth rotting away?
A: You may be experiencing the results of pregnancy gingivitis. This condition arises in many expectant mothers and consists of inflamed and puffy gums during pregnancy. This inflammation can be controlled with dedicated cleaning of the teeth. During these bouts of gingivitis, it is quite common for cavities to form in the pockets underneath the gums. As the gingivitis later improves, the gums then recede to a more normal level, exposing the cavities. I strongly recommend visiting the dentist as soon as possible to have your cavities treated.
Q: Can I see the dentist if I’m taking blood pressure medication?
A: Yes, you may certainly see the dentist while on high blood pressure medication, as long as you inform him or her of your condition.
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