Do I Need to Tell the Dentist I’m Pregnant?

Dental visit for pregnant women in Marietta
Image Credit – Andrii Medvednikov/

From treating gum disease and tooth decay to the early detection of oral cancer, most people are aware of the importance of regular dental visits. Visiting your Marietta dentist every six months for dental cleanings and oral exams can prevent gingivitis, fillings – and even tooth loss. But what if you’re pregnant? With much conflicting information about pregnancy and dental visits, we want to keep our patients informed on the correct approach to oral care.

So you’re pregnant and wondering, “Do I need to tell the dentist I’m pregnant?” That’s quite a common question in pregnancy forums and blogs. The short answer is yes, you should tell the hygienist and dentist you’re pregnant. To learn more about dental care during pregnancy, keep reading.

5 Key Factors About Visiting the Dentist While Pregnant

Dental care while pregnant does not differ much from dental care during other times in your adult life. However, there are some factors to consider during pregnancy. So whether you’re feeling healthy or your tooth is aching, don’t delay regular dental visits.

1. Going to the Dentist During Your Pregnancy

It’s important to keep getting your teeth cleaned every six months, even while you’re pregnant. When you’re pregnant you may be at risk for certain dental conditions so you should let the dentist and/or the dental hygienist know you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

2. Let Your Dental Hygienist and Dentist Know You’re Pregnant Before X-Rays Are Taken

The American Dental Association now says that getting x-rays are okay during pregnancy. X-rays are important in detecting oral health problems, including inflamed tooth pulp, bone loss and hidden tooth decay.

There was a study in 2004, however, that found “an increase in low birth weight among women who had dental x-rays while pregnant.” To learn more about this study, click here.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding x-rays during your pregnancy, talk to your dentist, OB-GYN, midwife, doula and/or your family physician.

3. Pregnant Women Are at a Higher Risk for Certain Dental Problems

Pregnancy impacts just about all parts of your body (just ask any woman who has ever had the amazing experience of being pregnant). Well, the mouth is no different.

Being pregnant makes you more susceptible to gum disease and sometimes growths within the mouth (referred to as “pregnancy tumors”). Your dentist can treat both conditions so be sure to tell him/her you’re pregnant.

If you have moderate to severe gum disease, “you may be at higher risk for delivering a pre-term, low birth weight baby.” So be sure to take extra care of your gums and teeth!

4. You Can Still Get Dental Work Done During Your Pregnancy

Because you’re pregnant you are at a higher risk for gum disease. So it’s very important to brush and floss regularly, and also to get your teeth professionally cleaned by a hygienist once every six months, unless your doctor recommends otherwise.

If you need dental work done while pregnant, you can speak with your dentist to see which treatments can be completed while pregnant. He or she may want to postpone certain treatments until after pregnancy, especially if you’ll need anesthesia.

Always speak with your dentist, OB-GYN, midwife, doula or your family physician if you have any concerns.

5. If You Experience Morning Sickness, Take Extra Care of Your Oral Health

Vomiting produces acid that can cause harm to your teeth. It is important to remove the acid before it causes issues (like dissolving tooth enamel), which means you may be brushing your teeth more than the recommended 2-3 times per day.

You can also speak with your dentist about other ways to protect your teeth and gums if you’re experiencing morning sickness throughout your pregnancy.

Why Dental Checkups During Pregnancy Are Crucial

Good oral health contributes to overall physical and mental health, and this is important when you’re pregnant. However, the CDC reports that 60% to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis. Over time, gingivitis leads to periodontitis and could result in tooth loss.

In addition, changes to dietary habits during pregnancy may cause tooth decay and the need for dental fillings. But with consistent oral health checks, your dentist can identify issues before they have a severe impact.

So You’re Pregnant…Now What?

Celebrate! Be thankful that you have the opportunity to be pregnant. Get excited that you’ll meet your bundle of joy one day soon! And don’t forget to take care of yourself throughout the process, including your oral health. If you live in or near Marietta, GA, call Dr. Shaila Mohip-Chahwala at Shining Smiles Family Dentistry.

If you think you might forget to tell the dental hygienist and dentist during your appointment that you’re pregnant (“pregnancy brain” is REAL!!), you can let them know on the phone when scheduling your appointment. He or she can make a note in your patient chart for the doctor and hygienist to read.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and we look forward to meeting you (and hopefully your new bundle of joy one day) soon!

Marietta Dental Cleanings and Oral Exams During Pregnancy

At Shining Smiles Family Dentistry we provide many family and restorative dentistry treatments, including regular checkups, fillings, gum disease solutions and more. If you are pregnant and want to discuss a visit to our Marietta office, don’t hesitate to contact us. Call (770) 420-8550 or request an appointment today.

Source: Delta Dental

Meet Dr. Shaila Mohip-Chahwala

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