Contrary to popular belief, both local anesthesia and fillings are safe during pregnancy. In fact, the use of silver amalgam fillings has been prohibited in pregnant women since 2018.
Did you know that, during pregnancy, practicing good – and adequate – dental hygiene is even more important? This is because, during pregnancy, the hormones that circulate through the body of the future mother make the gums swell slightly, causing bleeding, especially when flossing or brushing your teeth. In addition, the appearance of increased dental sensitivity is very common, which causes any food or drink (especially if it is a hot or cold meal) to cause a very annoying sensation of pain and sensitivity.
But this is not everything. These same hormonal alterations, together with different conditions and disorders such as vomiting, make the future mother have a greater risk of suffering from cavities or periodontitis, which consists of a gum disease that causes gingivitis and affects the tissues around the tooth. Therefore, in case of dental pain -and cavities-, it is common for the pregnant woman to wonder: is it possible to have fillings in pregnancy? And above all, is it safe for the baby? We explain everything you need to know in this article.
Why are cavities and periodontitis more common in pregnancy?
As we explained briefly in the previous lines, as a consequence of the different hormonal changes and alterations that are experienced throughout pregnancy, it is very common for the pregnant woman to have a greater risk of suffering certain dental problems and diseases.
For example, pregnancy gingivitis is one of the most common. It consists of inflammation of the gums, which can cause swelling and pain, and slight bleeding when you use a toothbrush or floss.
It is also common for the risk of cavities to increase, either due to the appearance of morning sickness and vomiting (if you suffer from them), which causes your mouth to be more exposed to a greater amount of acids, or if you are eating a quantity higher carbohydrates.
Therefore, it is advisable to go to the dentist at least once during pregnancy, for a dental check-up and cleaning. Taking into account that X-rays are not advisable, you should tell your dentist that you are pregnant if you go to the consultations in the first weeks of pregnancy.
Can fillings be done during pregnancy? They’re safe?
Believe it or not, in reality some dental treatments are perfectly safe during pregnancy, and help prevent precisely major problems. In fact, many dentists believe that it is better to treat the problem quickly than to let it go until the end of the pregnancy, because it can lead to more serious diseases and disorders.
In the event of a cavity, the administration of injected local anesthesia is quite safe, except in very unique cases in which complications can arise. In this sense, it is possible that your dentist will administer a milder local anesthesia if you are pregnant.
Regarding the safety of fillings, we must also indicate that they are perfectly safe. However, as of July 2018, the European Union prohibited dental treatments with silver amalgam fillings in children under 15 years of age and pregnant women, precisely because of its mercury content.
The Dental Association itself is clear in this regard: you should not worry about the risk of anesthesia, since, in fact, “it is safe for both you and your baby.”
Therefore, it will be the dentist who will assess what is the best dental caries treatment, being able to effectively perform fillings when necessary, and with complete safety.