Do I need to tell the dentist I’m pregnant?

So you’re pregnant (congratulations!) 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…yes you should tell the hygienist and dentist you’re pregnant. 

To learn more about dental care during pregnancy, keep reading!


Keep 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. 


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.


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!


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 and/or your family physician if you have any concerns. 


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.


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!