During pregnancy, maintaining proper dental care is very important. Hormonal changes make you more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay by increasing the acidity of your mouth. If you are pregnant, there are also other special considerations, such as whether to have X-rays and whether it is safe to undergo oral surgery such as having your wisdom teeth removed. As with any other medical issue during pregnancy, it is important to consult with your obstetrician as well as your dentist before deciding the best approach.
Dangers of Dental Surgery During Pregnancy
As a general rule, pregnant women should avoid any type of oral surgery or procedure that requires general anesthetic, and should also avoid X-rays except in the case of an emergency. A general anesthetic affects the whole body and all of its systems, including the systems supporting your growing child. Exposure to general anesthetic could cause problems with your baby’s proper growth. In addition, certain types of antibiotics that are necessary after any form of surgery can cause permanent discoloration of your child’s teeth.
X-rays produce low levels of radiation, which could also present a danger to your baby’s normal development. Although the radiation exposure is extremely low, your baby is growing very quickly, and the combination of even low radiation with quickly dividing cells could lead to abnormal development. For these reasons, it is best to avoid dental surgery if at all possible.
If Oral Surgery is Necessary
In some cases, though, oral surgery might be unavoidable. For example, if your wisdom become impacted and are extremely uncomfortable, the infection that has developed as well as the discomfort you are experiencing can be detrimental to your baby, as well. In these cases, some precautions can make it safer to have the surgery and eliminate the discomfort. If possible, put off the procedure until at least the second trimester, when fetal growth slows down somewhat. Be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant, and discuss the procedure with your obstetrician. Your oral surgeon might be able to use local anesthetic to make the procedure safer for your baby.
For more information on wisdom teeth extraction during pregnancy, contact Dr. Chris Tye, serving Bedford and surrounding areas, today to schedule an informative consultation.