Cleanings, dental X-rays don’t pose a hazard, medical group says.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7, 2013 (HealthDay News) — Dental cleanings and X-rays are safe for pregnant women, a U.S. obstetrician/gynecologist group says.

The group also advised ob-gyns to perform routine dental health assessments at women’s first prenatal visit and to encourage their patients to see a dentist during pregnancy.

“These new recommendations address the questions and concerns that many ob-gyns, dentists and our patients have about whether it is safe to have dental work during pregnancy,” Dr. Diana Cheng, vice chairwoman of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, said in a college news release.

Dental health problems are associated with other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and respiratory infections.

“We want ob-gyns to routinely counsel all of their patients, including pregnant women, about the importance of oral health to their overall health,” Cheng said.

The college noted that 35 percent of all women say they haven’t seen a dentist in the past year and about 40 percent of pregnant women in the United States have cavities or gum disease. Physical changes caused by pregnancy can cause changes in teeth

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