I am pregnant – why do doctors and health professionals recommend I have a dental check-up?
Pregnant women are recommended to have a dental check-up because the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy can exacerbate any pre-existing issues with the teeth & gums. Pregnant women are more likely to have:
- Bleeding gums
- Pregnancy pimples’ on the gums (pregnancy granulomas)
- Acid reflux causing erosion of the teeth
- Tooth decay, due to increased snacking and a change in diet
- General increase in tooth sensitivity
When should I attend during my pregnancy?
Anytime during pregnancy is fine for a check-up visit. However, as soon as you believe that you’re pregnant, tell your dentist, so that treatment can be altered according to your specific health needs. Any dental emergency should be seen to by a dental professional as soon as possible – dental infections can be harmful to you and your baby. Antibiotics should not be used instead of dental treatment to treat dental infections.
What dental treatment can I have done during my pregnancy?
Routine dental treatment can be carried out at any time during pregnancy. This includes hygiene visits, gum treatment, fillings, root canal treatment, and complex treatments. Some cosmetic treatment such as tooth whitening, or very long elective procedures may be postponed until after delivery. Routine dental x-rays may be postponed until after delivery. However, if there is untreated tooth decay and dental infection, then there is a clinical indication for the use of dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are considered safe to use in the correct situation. The dentist and dental hygienist will discuss this with you in detail if needed.
Where can I find more information on this topic?
More information can be found on the Australian Dental Association website (www.ada.org.au). Or, just chat with your friendly dentist!