Is Dental Anesthesia Safe During Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy is obviously an exhilarating time in one’s life. All moms-to-be can agree that once they find out they’re pregnant, they immediately start wondering if there are things that were safe before but aren’t now because of the baby. This is especially true when it comes to dental procedures. Can certain dental treatments or procedures cause fetal abnormalities or cause birth defects? Is there an increased risk of premature delivery or miscarriage? It’s very natural for pregnant women to wonder these things so we’re going to look into how oral health care can continue safely, especially in the case of local anesthetics for pain control.

Pregnancy Hormones Affect Your Oral Health

Unbeknownst to many pregnant women, the hormonal changes happening throughout your body can actually cause dental problems. You may end up noticing things like a dry mouth, gum inflammation and bleeding, or sensitivity. This is referred to as pregnancy gingivitis and if not looked after or treated properly, can turn into gum disease.

Morning sickness can also affect your teeth because of the increased acidity. After vomiting, it’s best to avoid brushing your teeth right away as this can spread the acid around more and eat away at your enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and then wait half an hour to an hour before brushing them thoroughly. And yes, it is safe to use fluoride-based mouthwashes and toothpaste.

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Local Anesthetics Are Safe During Pregnancy

During the first trimester, while your baby is still developing vital organs, your dentist will likely refrain from performing any kind of dental work, although, a study was conducted and published in 2015 by the Journal of American Dental Association which found that dental treatment with the use of local anesthesia during the first trimester was safe. However, if your dentist recommends waiting until the second trimester once the baby has developed most of its organs, it’s best to follow their advice.

The study also concluded that undergoing a dental procedure with local anesthesia did not cause any abnormalities or increased risk of miscarriage or early delivery. The dental treatments in the study included tooth extraction, endodontic treatment, and tooth restoration.

Your Dental Problem Should Be Taken Care of Promptly

Oral surgery during pregnancy is always typically the last resort except for when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risk. This can be the case with a root canal. If you have a severely infected tooth that is also causing a lot of pain, you need to have it removed as soon as possible. Any form of tooth decay should be taken very seriously. If left untreated, the infection can spread to surrounding teeth and even get into your bloodstream. This is why, if you’re pregnant, you need to keep your mouth healthy by maintaining good oral hygiene.

After having a root canal, you will still be given pain medication that will be safe to take orally short-term. You may also still safely receive a dental crown or dental filling if your tooth has been removed. Again, most dentists will recommend this during your second trimester.

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Maintaining A Healthy, Happy Smile During Pregnancy

Just remember to continue to brush your teeth twice daily, followed by flossing once a day and rinsing with mouthwash. Purchase fluoride-based toothpaste as this will help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce your risk of tooth decay. Many dentists encourage women who are pregnant to invest in an electric toothbrush as well as it can do a better job of thoroughly cleaning gums, teeth, and your tongue. It also has an easier time getting into the smaller nooks and crannies that a manual toothbrush can’t reach.

Are You Concerned About Your Oral Health During Pregnancy?

Pregnant patients who have poor oral hygiene or who have a high risk of experiencing dental problems should visit their dental care team more often rather than going every six months. Optimal dental care during pregnancy is extremely important to your overall health, including your baby’s. Even if you need a tooth pulled, filled, or restored, this dental treatment can be done safely with local anesthetics. You can also safely take antibiotics or pain medication short-term, but your dentist or your doctor can go into more detail about this and answer all of your questions. It’s okay to be nervous and to ensure the best steps are being taken for both your and your baby’s health.

If you’re currently pregnant and have been experiencing oral changes, this is because of the natural hormone changes that happen during pregnancy. When you book an appointment today with our dental care team, we’ll walk you through the steps of maintaining oral health at home and receiving safe dental care during pregnancy.

Is Dental Anesthesia Safe During Pregnancy? 1

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