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Dental treatment is often the last thing on a pregnant woman’s mind, which often leads expectant mothers to skip their scheduled appointments during this time. There is also a lot of misinformation that is shared on social media and anecdotally about getting dental treatment during pregnancy. So what is the final word on this subject?
How Safe Is It To Get Dental Treatment During Pregnancy?
Routine dental examination and cleanings can be carried out safely without any problem whatsoever during pregnancy, although, some doctors prefer to limit all non-emergency treatment to the second trimester. The reason for this is very straightforward. The first trimester is the time when organogenesis or the process of organ formation takes place in the baby. Any sort of infection or dissemination of microorganisms in the bloodstream, as can happen with dental treatment, was considered to be potentially dangerous during this time.
During recent times, though, studies have shown that even simple everyday acts like brushing teeth can cause a similar amount of micro-organisms to be released into the blood stream and thus this fear was found to be unfounded.
The third trimester is the time when any release of inflammatory products or infection can cause premature contractions and can result in a pre-term birth. This is why the second trimester is the best time to carry out any elective dental treatment.
Dental X- Rays During Pregnancy
Dental X-rays are extremely low power and even conventional film dental x-rays can be safely done during pregnancy with proper precautions. Most clinics are now equipped with digital X-rays that are extremely low power and on average expose the patient to 1/100th the amount of radiation as compared to conventional dental x-rays.
Women having dental X-rays during pregnancy should be provided with a lead apron to protect the abdomen as well as the thyroid of the patient. X-rays should also be taken only when entirely necessary and so routine X-rays during checkups can be avoided.
Is Bleeding From The Gums Common During Pregnancy?
Bleeding from the gums is extremely common during pregnancy, however, it is not something that should be ignored. The reason why gums bleed during pregnancy is because a higher number of small blood vessels develop in conjunction with the hormonal changes taking place.
This makes the gums more likely to bleed in the presence of a normal amount of plaque and calculus. If bleeding is noticed during pregnancy, it could be the first sign of gum disease — which in turn is associated with the occurrence of pre-term, low birth weight births.
Pregnant women facing bleeding are advised to go to their dentist and get a routine cleaning done to prevent infections and complications.