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3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408

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November 23, 2021

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Congratulations! You’re having a baby! What an exciting, and somewhat exhausting time. Expectant mothers under a doctor’s care are educated on the importance of self-care during pregnancy. Your oral health is no exception. Proper dental care during pregnancy is an important part of your prenatal care.

First things first, tell your dentist if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant. Tell them how far along you are in your pregnancy and any medications or prenatal vitamins you are taking. If your pregnancy is high-risk or you have certain pregnancy related conditions, your dentist may recommend that some treatments be postponed.

It is important that you continue your routine dental appointments for cleanings and exams. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can put you at risk for tender gums that bleed easily, pregnancy gingivitis, and an increased risk for periodontal disease. If you have a pre-existing gum disease, pregnancy can make it worse. It is safe to have dental x-rays. During x-rays, your abdomen and throat will be covered with a lead apron and collar to protect you and your baby. Although the radiation is extremely low, we do not recommend x-rays in the first trimester unless it is a dire dental emergency at which time we would place two lead aprons. If you are in need of a filling or root canal while pregnant, know that local anesthetics and numbing medications are safe for you and your baby.

Pregnancy can elevate pre-existing dental problems or create new ones. Hormonal changes can cause inflammation of the gums and gingivitis. Pregnant women are more prone to cavities and tooth decay. This can be caused by eating more carbs and sweets than usual or the acid from morning sickness. Some women experience overgrowths of tissue on the gums known as “pregnancy tumors”. It’s important to note that these are not cancer. They often appear during the second trimester and usually disappear after your baby is born. 

Limit dental problems during your pregnancy by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Clean your mouth after vomiting to reduce acid in your mouth. Brushing your teeth after acid exposure of vomiting causes erosion of the teeth.  After vomiting, it is recommended that you rinse your mouth with water.  It is safe to brush 30  minutes AFTER vomiting. Eat a healthy diet and limit sweets including sugary foods and drinks. The American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage women to get dental care during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and looking for a dentist, we’d be honored to be part of your prenatal care team. Contact our office at (336) 286-9897 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Szott.

Margaret Szott DDS, PA is a general and family dentist in Greensboro NC offering the highest standard of personalized dental care for her patients. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients of all ages and works with all insurance providers.

Where We Are Located

3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
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