Should I consult my dentist during pregnancy?

Faut-il consulter son dentiste pendant la grossesse ?

Can I go to the dentist during pregnancy?

Visiting the dentist during pregnancy is possible, and even recommended. It is advisable to make an appointment during the second trimester of pregnancy for a complete check-up.

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Why is it important to go to the dentist during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your body undergoes many physiological and hormonal changes. Not only do these changes affect your skin, they can also have an impact on your oral health, i.e. your gums and teeth, by encouraging inflammatory reactions and bleeding. This phenomenon is amplified if you had regular gum bleeding before your pregnancy.

In fact, when you're pregnant, your gums are more sensitive to plaque and the bacteria it contains. Why is this? With the hormones linked to pregnancy, pregnant women's gums react in an exaggerated way to the presence of dental plaque. It can become red, swollen and bleed easily. This is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis needs to be treated promptly to avoid complications. Some women also develop a benign tumor called "epulis". This tumour is not dangerous and disappears after childbirth.

Frequent vomiting during the 1st trimester of pregnancy can also damage a pregnant woman's enamel, due to the acidity of the bile. This causes hypersensitivity to hot and cold, and pain.

Inflamed gums are an ideal breeding ground for microbes. If left untreated, tooth decay can develop into toothache and even abscess, i.e. an acute infection. Similarly, an untreated infection can increase the risk of premature delivery.

Can poor oral health lead to premature delivery?

As we've just explained, gingivitis is a fairly common inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is an infectious disease that can affect one or more teeth, and corresponds to the destruction of the periodontium (tooth-supporting tissue comprising gums, bone and ligaments). This can lead to tooth loosening, with irreversible consequences for your teeth. What's more, bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and reach the placenta. As a result, periodontal disease can lead to premature delivery, pre-eclampsia and low-birth-weight babies. But these diseases are easily preventable with good oral hygiene and regular check-ups with your dentist. In fact, a preventive dental check-up is covered by the French health insurance scheme at 100%, with no advance payment required. If you suffer from gingivitis or any other dental problem, we advise you to consult a dental specialist as soon as possible to avoid any complications during your pregnancy.

What dental treatment is possible during pregnancy?

Dental care is possible during pregnancy, and even recommended! If you're planning to have a baby, you can even visit a dentist before you become pregnant to check that your teeth are in good condition, and that you have no cavities or particular problems. The dentist will take the opportunity to perform a scaling if necessary, as well as any other care you may need to maintain your health.

Then, when you're pregnant, schedule a visit to the dentist during your second trimester. This is a highly recommended check-up, and the French health insurance scheme sends all pregnant women information on the oral check-up to be carried out. This examination is fully reimbursed by the social security system, with no advance payment required.

Is it possible to have x-rays during pregnancy?

X-rays may be necessary to treat acute problems such as abscesses. Despite what you might think, X-rays can be taken even when you're pregnant. For example, you can have a panoramic X-ray to check for cavities. The radiologist will make sure to protect the fetus from radiation by placing a lead apron over your belly. It's also possible to have a general anaesthetic when you're pregnant, but most of the time, you'll want to avoid procedures that are too stressful, with multiple appointments, etc.

Dental hygiene during pregnancy

To ensure proper dental hygiene, use a soft toothbrush. This type of toothbrush prevents bleeding when brushing. To avoid nausea and vomiting, which can weaken tooth enamel, use a smaller toothbrush. If you do vomit, avoid brushing your teeth immediately afterwards: the saliva must cover your tooth enamel to protect it. Instead, rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash.

During pregnancy, you need to take extra care when it comes to dental hygiene: choose water rather than sugary drinks, and brush your teeth after every meal.

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The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.