Cavities (cont.)

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Treatment during pregnancy

Hormonal and bacterial quantity changes during pregnancy put pregnant women at greater risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease. Therefore, it is very important that pregnant women continue to get regular dental cleanings during pregnancy. Pregnant women have generally been counseled to avoid elective dental treatment during pregnancy unless they are experiencing an emergency like pain or infection. In this case, the second trimester is the best time for treatment to keep the expectant mother as comfortable as possible. Local anesthetics, and other materials used during dental treatment don't increase risk to the fetus, but untreated oral disease has been shown to lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes. If X-rays are necessary, a protective apron will be placed over the woman's stomach and thyroid. If antibiotics are necessary, tetracycline should be avoided because it will cause staining in the baby's developing teeth.


"For the dental patient: oral health during pregnancy." Journal of the American Dental Association 142.5 (2011): 574.

"Tooth Decay." American Dental Association. <>.

Brambilla, Eugenio, et al. "Caries prevention during pregnancy: results of a 30-month study." Journal of the American Dental Association 129.7 (1998): 871-877.

Diniz, Michele B., et al. "The performance of conventional and fluorescence-based methods for occlusal caries detection: an in vivo study with histologic validation." Journal of the American Dental Association 143.4 (2012): 339-350.

Michalowicz, Bryan S., et al. "Examining the safety of dental treatment in pregnant women." Journal of the American Dental Association 139.6 (2008): 685-695.

Zero, Domenick T., et al. "The biology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental caries: scientific advances in the United States." Journal of the American Dental Association 140.Suppl 1 (2009): 25S-34S.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/29/2012

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Dental Cavities - Treatment Question: Are you afraid to undergo treatment for cavities?
Cavities - Treatment Question: Do you or your child get lots of cavities or have several fillings? Please discuss treatment, including sealants.
Cavities - Oral Hygiene Question: Please share tips for preventing cavities from forming. Do you or your kids chew xylitol gum?


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