Is It Safe to Get Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy?

Is It Safe to Get Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy?

Jun 01, 2022

Pregnancy is an exciting phase that comes with numerous positive and negative changes. As for your oral health, you’re likely to experience minor oral issues. In some cases, pregnancy can make some conditions like gum disease worse. Fortunately, good oral hygiene and regular oral assessments can help maintain a healthy mouth and overall wellness.

If you’re pregnant, you may have heard that getting an X-ray when pregnant may be dangerous for you and your baby. Generally, getting a dental x-ray while pregnant is safe, according to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, the American College of Radiology, and the American Dental Association.

Getting an oral x-ray can provide critical information about your oral health, helping you avoid complications affecting your health and pregnancy. For instance, untreated dental issues can lead to stillbirths and other complications. Let’s learn how pregnancy affects your mouth and what to do if you need a dental x-ray.

How Pregnancy affects your mouth

When pregnant, your hormones change. The progesterone hormone rises significantly, making you susceptible to poor gum health. High progesterone levels stimulate the production of prostaglandins – the substances that cause blood vessel inflammation in the gums.

It puts you at risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis. When brushing or eating, you can experience gum swelling, sensitivity, tenderness, and minor bleeding. If not treated, the condition leads to more advanced gum disease.

Besides affecting your gum tissue, pregnancy can also increase your risk of tooth decay. For instance, you’ll be eating more, increasing the amount of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Similarly, morning sickness can increase acidity in the mouth leading to enamel erosion and decay.

Fortunately, brushing twice daily, flossing once, hydrating well, and eating healthier can help minimize the risk of developing oral issues during pregnancy. It will also prevent the need for dental x-ray and other treatments. Contact our Marshfield dentist for oral treatment during pregnancy.

Benefits of Dental X-ray

Pregnancy puts you at a greater risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If left untreated, these issues can cause complications like low birth weight or preterm births. Similarly, untreated oral infections can spread and enter your bloodstream, affecting your unborn baby’s health.

In most cases, your dentist will request an x-ray to check for:

  • Bone loss
  • Tooth decay
  • Infection below the gums
  • Impacted wisdom tooth
  • Oral infections
  • Cysts and tumors

Typically, your dentist will always request x-rays to understand your oral health better. It will help them understand your condition better and treat it on time and properly. Therefore, dental x-rays are important whether or not you’re pregnant.

Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy

Fortunately, dental x-rays have very low radiation emissions, making them safe for pregnant women. Another important factor is that dental x-rays perform in your mouth. It means that you don’t expose your reproductive organs to radiation.

While getting x-rays during pregnancy is safe, experts only recommend performing them when necessary. For instance, x-rays for elective and cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening can always wait until you have given birth.

If you must get an X-ray, you can take safety measures to minimize your radiation exposure. These include:

  • Tell your dentist in advance if you’re pregnant
  • Your dentist will cover you with a leaded apron and collar to minimize radiation exposure to your abdomen and thyroid.
  • Keep a record of your x-ray history. It can help avoid unnecessary duplications of certain procedures.
  • You can consult your dentist about using E and F films since they are faster and have lower radiation.
  • Notify your dentist if you’re undergoing radiation therapy.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you interested in dental x-rays in Marshfield, MA, or would you like to learn more about dental x-rays during pregnancy? Contact Marshfield Dental Group to book your appointment today.

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