Breastfeeding and dental work - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-13-2005, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
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*I'm cross-posting this from the dental forum 'cause I didn't get any replies there )

I just found out that I have 14 (!!!) cavities and also need my wisdom teeth pulled. The dentist called my cavities 'moderate', most pretty small but 2-3 pretty deep ones So far I only have one filling in my mouth and I'm a little worried about the procedure because I'm still breastfeeding. Can anyone tell me about nitrous oxide and it's effects if you're nursing? Also, I will probably have to wait to have the wisdom teeth done next year because my insurance likely won't cover the cavities and the extractions this year... but what about the medications used for wisdom teeth? How safe is all that when you're breastfeeding, are there any precautions I can take? My dentist just said 'Your daughter's 18 months?(actually she's almost 2...) Oh, you could just not nurse for a couple days right?' Me: 'No, that really wouldn't work.' Her: 'Oh well, you could just wean her then' Me: 'Nope, I don't think so.'

I know this stuff needs to be done and I've been putting it off for so long, please tell me there's a way. Sorry if this has been discussed, but I didn't come up with anything when I searched but it is late and I could be kookoo. Tia
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#2 of 11 Old 07-13-2005, 08:52 AM
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Don't know about the effect of nitrous oxide. I'd ask a LLL leader or look it up on Dr. Hale's website. But I'd *guess* that it will be out of your system completely in a matter of hours, NOT days, so if your dd can be happily distracted by your partner, grandma, dear friend, etc, till you're ready to nurse her, that part will likely be okay. I also know that for most drugs, as the level of drug in your blood goes down it goes down in your milk, too - so I'd guess you wouldn't need to pump & dump even.

My wisdom teeth took general anesthetic. But since you think you won't have those done for a while, I'd worry about that when it happens - dd could self-wean, she could understand "mommy's sick and can't nurse until xxx", etc.

Here as mama to W (2/04), R (5/06), D (7/09), and J (12/9/12!), co-parenting with my DH

I WOH part-time, am a doula & childbirth educator, home/unschool, and hope we are nearing the center of chaos


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#3 of 11 Old 07-13-2005, 10:32 AM
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Nitrous oxide is fine while nursing - it's all out of your system very quickly.

Most other drugs used for dental work are fine too. Even if you are having general anesthesia, it should not be a problem (think of all the women who have C-sections and then bf right afterward). You can ask your dentist exactly which drugs you will be getting and then look them up, but almost all are not going to cause a problem. is a great resource for this kind of thing -- unfortunately, dental websites usually are not helpful! (I work for one though so I'm trying to change that.....)

BTW dentists get essentially NO training in what's safe during bfing, so I would not take your dentist at his word about any effects. Just find out which meds you will be on and do your own research.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#4 of 11 Old 07-13-2005, 10:56 AM
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Many moms are told they need to wean to get dental work and I have yet to find ONE that actually had to after looking up the medication in hales or talking to an LC that actually knew what they are talking about.



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#5 of 11 Old 07-13-2005, 12:06 PM
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I'm not sure if this really helps, but when I was five months preggers with my DS, I had to have my wisdom tooth cut out - it was impacted and had infection - my whole jaw was swollen and painful. I figured it needed to be taken care of Right Away, so I went in. Being pregnant, the dentist did not give me anything but a couple of shots in my gum of that stuff that isn't novacain but we all call it that anyway. The stuff didn't work. I felt every second of that tooth being removed. I bawled. Seriously, cried my eyes out.

It was the worst pain of my life (um, except childbirth, but I had a sweet baby after that, not an icky tooth).

I survived.

Wifey to Hubby, Mama to Boy (2004) and Girl (2009). 
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#6 of 11 Old 07-13-2005, 05:28 PM
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I think Nitrous goes out of your system fairly rabidly. My dentist gave me carbocaine when I had a filling replaced with a crown when I was pregnant.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#7 of 11 Old 07-15-2005, 08:44 AM
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My dentist used carbocaine for my root canals and I didn't feel a thing--no problem with nursing.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#8 of 11 Old 07-15-2005, 12:02 PM
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I had my wisdom teeth removed when dd was 9 months old and still exclusively nursing. I had general anesthesia. The oral surgeon said that he "has" to tell patients to pump ahead of time to have plenty for baby, and then pump and dump for 12 hours. After that, he told me that he and many other surgeons believe that there is no harm in nursing as soon as you feel able to after the surgery. I walked out of the office 25 minutes after my teeth were removed, went to the grocery store and then went home and nursed dd. No problems. The whole surgery was complete in less than 10 minutes. I never had to take anything for the pain afterwards. It was pretty unbelieveable.
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#9 of 11 Old 07-16-2005, 12:39 AM
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My sister is bfing her dd and she just had her wisdom teeth cut out on Monday. She got the works, valium, nitrous oxide, whatever that stuff is that knocks you out during the procedure, and Lortab for the pain after. The surgeon said it would be fine and her dd does not seem to have suffered any ill effects.
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#10 of 11 Old 07-16-2005, 10:17 AM
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Funny I should come across this, as I am nursing and had my wisdoms pulled earlier this week!

I had the local novocaine or whatever and just nitrous. And my teeth were badly impacted and one of them was still far down in my jaw but I was just fine during the surgery.

I was prescribed Tylenol w/ codeine, but I didn't even need any pain meds. The tylenol w/ codeine is pretty safe. I looked it up in "The Nursing Mother's Companion".

Unfortunately the silly surgeon attempted to give me an antibiotic rx that was *not* safe. I told him in no uncertain terms that I couldn't wean and that he'd have to give me something that was safe. So he prescribed Zithromax, which is an erythomycin (I don't remember how it's spelled) relative and is very safe.

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#11 of 11 Old 07-16-2005, 01:16 PM
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you probably already know, but composite fillings don't contain mercury, silver or amalgun fillings ( which are usually completely covered by insurance) do contain toxic amounts of mercury.
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