Oral Health and Pregnancy

A new consensus statement on the safety and importance of dental health care for pregnant women is available to the public in PDF format at www.mchoralhealth.org.  Just click on the Consensus Statement link for a PDF of this 24 page document.  The document was prepared as a result of a meeting of the Health Resources Services Administration, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in October, 2011.

The document states that dental care is both safe and important throughout pregnancy.  Emergency or acute care may be provided at any time during pregnancy.   Use of xrays, pain medication and local anesthesia, if necessary,  are all safe throughout pregnancy.  It is important to have the oral cavity checked for swollen or bleeding gums, dental decay, tooth-related pain, soft tissue lesions, signs of infection or trauma, problems eating, and history of vomiting since becoming pregnant.

The document advises that when a pregnant woman is being treated by her dentist her head should be elevated above her feet.  She should be in a semi-reclining position, as tolerated, and frequent position changes should be allowed.  A small pillow should be placed under the hip and she should turn slightly to the side to avoid dizziness or nausea from hypotension.

The document  includes a table of common drugs: their indications, contraindications and special considerations during pregnancy.  It also includes information on maintaining good oral health and how to take care of the new infant’s oral health.

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