Medical History Mysteries: How to safely treat your breastfeeding patients

March 9, 2022
Drs. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz and Tom Viola talk about how different medications react in nursing mothers and how critical it is to involve both the patient and the pediatrician in treatment planning.

What anesthetics, antibiotics, and analgesics can we use for our breastfeeding patients? Previously, we’ve talked about how to treat our pregnant patients with the safest local anesthetic, but once they’re breastfeeding, we have a whole new set of factors to consider.

Medications are only effective in our bodies if they’re fat soluble because we have phospholipid membranes. Drugs will only cross our membranes and work if those drugs are fat soluble. One of the major components of breast milk is fat, so medications can easily leave the mother’s bloodstream and enter the breast milk.

When you’re planning dental treatment, you must make Mom part of that conversation. She may have to preplan by pumping milk for a time prior to treatment to eliminate the risk of the medications transferring from her to her breast milk.

In this episode of Medical History Mysteries, we’ll talk about how different medications react, what to do if your patient didn’t pump before treatment, and the importance of involving the patient’s pediatrician in treatment planning. As always, all of this points to keeping an accurate, up-to-date medical history on every patient for as long as they are in your practice.

More Medical History Mysteries videos:

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Through the Loupes newsletter, a publication of the Endeavor Business Media Dental Group. Read more articles and subscribe to Through the Loupes.

About the Author

Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD

Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, is the chief editor of DentistryIQ and editorial co-director of Through the Loupes. Based in Salem, Massachusetts, Dr. Maragliano-Muniz began her clinical career as a dental hygienist. She went on to attend Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she earned her doctorate in dental medicine. She then attended the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dental Medicine, where she became board-certified in prosthodontics. Dr. Maragliano-Muniz owns a private practice, Salem Dental Arts, and lectures on a variety of clinical topics. You may contact her at [email protected].


Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, named chief editor of DentistryIQ

About the Author

Tom Viola, RPh, CCP

With more than 30 years’ experience as a board-certified pharmacist, clinical educator, professional speaker, and published author, Tom Viola, RPh, CCP, has earned the reputation as the go-to specialist for making pharmacology practical and useful for dental teams. He is the founder of Pharmacology Declassified and is a member of the faculty of more than 10 dental professional degree programs. Viola has contributed to several professional journals and pharmacology textbooks, and currently serves as a consultant to the American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs.

Updated February 10, 2022