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It is safe for pregnant women to undergo essential dental treatment, including under general anaesthetic, at 13 to 21 weeks' gestation, according to new research.
A study published in the June issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association suggested that it is fine for pregnant women to have scaling or root planing treatments at that stage, or up to three months after delivery.
Previously this has been assumed to be the case, but clinical evidence to back it up was lacking.
The researchers looked at 823 pregnant women suffering from gum disease and found that "periodontal treatment and essential dental treatment, administered at a time between 13 and 21 weeks' gestation, did not significantly increase the risk of any adverse outcome evaluated".
However, experts continue to recommend that pregnant women defer elective care before eight weeks' gestation and during late pregnancy.
It may be important for a pregnant woman with gum disease to seek treatment, as earlier research has found a link between the dental bacteria associated with this disease and premature labor.
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