It is an understandable and common concern for women to question any type of suggested procedure or medication while they are breastfeeding their baby. While there are certain classes of medication and anesthesia that is not safe for breastfeeding moms, the materials, sedation methods and numbing agents used in dental procedures are almost never off-limits to those who are currently nursing healthy infants or babies.
The risk of waiting to address an area of decay or infection is far worse than any potential risk of harming your baby. For most moms, the primary concern pertains to the safety or effect of the anesthesia on the mother’s milk supply. However, lidocaine and most forms of dental sedation are proven to be a “zero” in the mother’s milk. There’s no need to suspend nursing for a period of time or “pump and dump” after dental work.
Lidocaine and bupivacaine are common numbing agents used in dental procedures such as root canals, extractions or fillings. These do not show up in a mother’s milk, according to Dr. Thomas Hale, author of Medications & Mother’s Milk. To take it one step further, a nursing mom can also enjoy sedation dentistry without worry of its effect on her milk or her baby. Nitrous oxide is considered safe for kids, adults and breastfeeding women. “Laughing gas” is virtually insoluble in the bloodstream, which means it travels from the brain to the lungs to the outside air immediately after you stop inhaling it in. The accelerated recovery rate of nitrous oxide (just 3 to 5 minutes) makes ingestion via breastmilk highly unlikely.
At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we welcome your questions and concerns about dental work during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. We promise that we will never risk the health of your baby at the cost of your treatment plan. However, with nearly all dental procedures and anesthetic methods proven safe for breastfeeding moms, we encourage you to stop putting off any needed dental treatments before it’s too late. Poor oral health can affect your overall health and wellbeing, which certainly can influence your ability to properly care for and nurture your child.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,