It's not uncommon for women to wonder whether or not dental treatment is safe during pregnancy. Local anaesthetic, x-rays and the anxiety associated with visiting the dentist can all be of concern when you're pregnant, so should you leave dental work until after you give birth? Here's an overview of when to see the dentist and when to wait it out:

When To See Your Dentist

It's safe to see your dentist for any routine or emergency procedure while you're pregnant. Preventative cleanings and exams are recommended during pregnancy as a rise in hormone levels can cause your gums to swell. This can lead to irritation from trapped food, increased susceptibility to bacterial infections and bleeding gums. Additionally, gum disease has been linked to preterm birth, so regular dental checks are good for you and your baby.

Dental x-rays and local anaesthetics are also considered safe during pregnancy, so if you're in pain you don't have to suffer for months without treatment. The local anaesthetic used for dental procedures is not thought to pass through the placental barrier, so will not reach your baby.

Dental x-rays do not expose your baby to the levels of radiation that would be considered unsafe, and they emit a relatively small amount of radiation when compared to other forms of imaging. Nevertheless, you should let your dentist know you are pregnant so they can shield you properly.

For your own comfort, you may wish to schedule any non-urgent dental appointments during the second trimester. You'll hopefully be over any morning sickness and your baby won't yet be big enough to make lying back on the dentist chair uncomfortable.

When To Postpone Treatment

It's a good idea to postpone elective or cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening or veneers, while you are pregnant. This is because all dental procedures carry a small risk of infection and your immune system is weakened during pregnancy, so it's best not to risk treatment that can wait. Infection triggers an inflammatory response in your body, and this can cause stress to your baby and even preterm birth in the same way that gum disease can.

Let your dentist such as Swansea Family Dental know you're pregnant before you have any dental treatment. This will allow them to make any necessary treatment recommendations, and they may be able to offer specific advice for maintaining good oral hygiene while pregnant. You can also ask your dentist for information on keeping your teeth clean when you have morning sickness or any other queries you may have.