Since our thoughts are with our moms this weekend, we’ll turn our discussion to oral health for mothers. Oral health and preventive dental work for pregnant women is important to avoid gum disease and oral infections. The American Pregnancy Association stated preventive dental cleaning and annual exams during pregnancy are recommended and safe.
Let’s focus on a few of the most common topics pertaining to oral health during pregnancy.
In a recent article by the Delta Dental Plans Association, they answered questions about dental care during pregnancy concerning X-rays, anesthesia, differences in oral health, and dental benefits. Here’s what they reported:
If necessary, X-rays are safest during the second trimester. The Mayo Clinic stated it is “highly unlikely that a diagnostic X-ray would harm a developing baby.” Though the dentist and dental hygienist will usually ask, let them know you are pregnant.
It is safe to have dental treatment that requires local anesthesia according to a 2015 study by the American Dental Association. This is significant because sometimes pregnant women will postpone dental procedures even though they are in pain or the issue is affecting their health.
Sensitive gums can affect pregnant women due to hormone levels. Some women develop pregnancy gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues caused by an increased level of hormones. Look for redness, swelling, tenderness and bleeding, and brush twice daily and floss daily, while keeping close attention to your gums.
Check your benefits plan. Some plans included additional benefits for pregnant women such as extra cleanings to help prevent pregnancy gingivitis.
For additional information, in Delta Dental’s Oral Health Library, you will find articles about the safety of dental care during pregnancy, oral health during pregnancy and infant oral health. We also cover the topic in our blogs, and provide information on dental care for babies. Always share your questions and concerns with your dentist.