Should I go to the dentist?
April 4, 2020 8:10 AM   Subscribe

I am not sure whether I should go to the dentist now, or wait. Can you help me work it out?

I'm pregnant and due in two months. I've had some typical pregnancy gum issues off and on since being pregnant. The last time I went was for a check up and clean quite early in the second trimester. We made a plan for me to go back in the third trimester for another check up and clean, since gum issues often get worse at this point.

Sure enough, third trimester rolls around and my gums are unhappy. They're painful and inflamed and bleed when I floss. But we're in a pandemic now, so I'm not sure what to do.

1. It's currently only possible to attend the dentist for essential visits and I am not sure whether this is essential.
2. I'm taking social distancing seriously, and I'm not sure whether this visit to the dentist is worth the risks.

I have added Savacol mouthwash into my routine for the next couple of weeks in case it helps.
posted by kinddieserzeit to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you get ahold of the dental office to ask them? They may be able to recommend something over the phone
posted by raccoon409 at 8:13 AM on April 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

I think they'd be happy to do a phone consult at least. I too would call if I were you.
posted by shaademaan at 8:26 AM on April 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Essential visits is urgent and paining emergencies only. By all means, call them if you wish but if they are following the current American Dental Association guidelines, they will not see you. (And if they would, I would both not go and be very alarmed.) Cleanings involve saliva and the amount of PPE required means most practices are not seeing non-emergency patients because PPE is in short supply.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:41 AM on April 4, 2020

This is likely pregnancy gingivitis. It is a thing that happens. Yes, if you can get a dentist on the phone, have a phone consult, but mostly just continue normal dental care.
posted by bq at 8:56 AM on April 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Another vote for calling/emailing your dentist to ask for advice -- they could probably call in a prescription for you for some anti-gingivitis mouthwash like Peridex. (Might not work if you're having taste sensitivity/nausea from pregnancy, as the last time I used it I found the taste lingered on my tongue for hours after use, and it did cause some temporary teeth discoloration, but it cleared up my gum inflammation something fierce.)
posted by oh yeah! at 9:19 AM on April 4, 2020

I agree with others that you should call your dentist and ask. That being said, as dentist, but not your dentist, I would say that I would not be seeing you for this in my clinic.

Typically, we do elective things during the 2nd, not the 3rd trimester. Pregnancy stomatitis, as we refer to it, is a common part of pregnancy, and is easily managed by excellent home care, and should NOT require an extra visit during a pandemic. Chlorhexidine mouth rinse is fine, but remember it can stain your teeth with prolonged use.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:42 AM on April 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Yes, it's pregnancy gingivitis. My gums have never bled this much before in my life. My main concern was whether this could get worse, and maybe it would be better to go now rather than wait and potentially have to go even later in pregnancy. But if managing this at home would have similar out outcomes to visiting the dentist, then I will not go.

Unfortunately I don't think it's as easy to contact doctors or dentists by email/phone here as it seems to be in the US. But I'll call the receptionist during the week in case there's any advice they can give me over the phone.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 5:31 PM on April 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

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