Is It Okay To Skip The Dentist During Pregnancy?

If you've recently discovered that you're pregnant and have an upcoming dentist appointment, you may be wondering if you should skip it altogether. Perhaps your friends have argued that it's unnecessary or that you can simply wait until you've given birth to take care of your dental needs. You may even have legitimate worries about how dental treatments or procedures could negatively affect your pregnancy (which is a common question for new mothers). Whatever your reasoning, continue reading to learn more about the dentist's role in your pregnancy, if there are any dental procedures you should avoid while pregnant, and ultimately if it's okay to just skip the dentist altogether:

What Should (and Should Not) be Avoided During Pregnancy

First things first: you should not avoid the dentist completely during your pregnancy. During your pregnancy, an increase in your hormones can lead to the worst kind of gum disease (called periodontal disease). Because of this risk, continuing dental checkups are a must for pregnant individuals so that there is not a bigger problem in the future down the road.

With that being said, there are some things you should avoid at the dentist during your pregnancy:

  • Although modern day dental procedures have evolved and progressed in safety, you may want to avoid getting an X-ray. The average modern day X-ray will not cause any harm to you or your baby, as you will be continually exposed to similar amounts of radiation simply from the outdoor sun. However, dental assistants and experts will know the specific details of the amount of radiation in the X-ray they want to give you.
  • Making your dentist aware of the fact that you are pregnant can influence him to choose the right kind of treatment for your condition. For example, he may choose to postpone an elective dental treatment until after the birth or choose a baby-safe medication after a cavity is fixed.
  • Be sure to give your dentist a list of the medications and vitamins that your doctor has prescribed for you-- it may be important information he needs to know to avoid certain treatments.

The Risk of Oral Infection

Risking oral infection and "riding it out" until the baby arrives cannot only affect you negatively, but can affect your unborn child as well. In fact, research published in The Journal of the American Dental Association revealed that gum disease is linked to premature birth (the worst cases of gum disease involved deliveries at only 32 weeks).

Dentists can discover the problem of gum disease before it even starts, so it's certainly in the best interest of your baby to get checked by an oral expert often.

For more information about dental care during pregnancy, contact a professional such as Kyle J Frisinger DMD.