I am pregnant… can I go to the dentist?

November 15, 2015 - Dr Christine Nguyen-Khac

Pregnancy is a time of joy, but frequently accompanied by physical and hormonal changes. People often ask me if it’s possible to get dental treatments when pregnant. Certainly! Most pregnant women are healthy, although their pregnancy may lead to many metabolic and physiologic changes. So healthy pregnant women can safely receive most dental treatments if a few precautions are taken.

A pregnant woman can be more inclined to postural hypotension. So when she visits the dentist, one must make sure the reclined patient chair isn’t brought up too quickly after the appointment, in which case hypotension can ensue.

In the case of pain or emergency, it is recommended to proceed immediately with simple dental extractions or pulpectomies in order to alleviate the discomfort. Radiographs can be taken to help diagnose the origin of the pain. However, any routine radiograph should wait till after delivery.

All elective dental treatments such as restorations, root scalings, root canals and elective dental extractions can be done without fear during the second trimester. The first trimester is a period of fetal development and the fetus is very fragile to its environment.
In the second half of the third trimester, there is always a risk of preterm deliveries. The local anesthetics that we use are safe for pregnancy. Postpone all complex and extensive treatments till after delivery.

These are a few of possible pregnancy oral symptoms:

  • Pregnancy gingivitis: inflammation and bleeding of gums, very common condition caused by hormonal change
  • «Pregnancy tumors»: red benign nodes that disappear after delivery
  • Erosion: Women who suffer from nausea and who throw up repetitively might wear out their teeth enamel.
  • Dry mouth

It has been demonstrated that pregnant women with gum disease have more risk of giving birth to a premature or low birth weight baby. Therefore, it is very important that you continue your dental care with your dentist all along your pregnancy. Brush your teeth twice a day and make sure you use dental floss and an antibacterial mouthwash. Have a great pregnancy!