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Dental Care in Pregnancy
Most regular dental treatment can be undergone during pregnancy without harm to the unborn child. The anaesthetic is only present in small amounts and in any case is not harmful, though some obstetricians prefer that epinephrine is not used. If the mother’s dental health is good, then X-rays are usually avoided. But if she is in pain and an x-ray is needed, the use of lead aprons will protect the unborn child quite adequately.
Due to the change in hormones during pregnancy, the gums often get red and puffy and may feel tender. This is a form of gingivitis or gum inflammation that often occurs during pregnancy. Teeth and gums should be brushed three times a day with regular flossing and the dentist should cleanse the teeth twice during the pregnancy to remove the build-up of plaque.In some cases, when gingivitis is present, a benign growth called a pregnancy tumour will form. No treatment is necessary, as it will disappear after the baby is born and the body hormones return to normal. If antibiotics or pain medication is necessary after dental treatment, tetracycline and narcotics should be avoided. Tetracycline may stain the baby’s developing teeth. The best time for dental treatment is during the second trimester of pregnancy.
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