Why should pregnant women care about their vitamin D levels?

Babies born to women with low levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy were associated with children who had an increased risk of tooth enamel defects and early childhood tooth decay. (Academy of General Dististry Impact. Sept 2008)

How can periodontal disease affect your pregnancy?

Hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy increase the risk of periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of premature delivery and low birth weight.   (Journal of the American Dental Association. Sept 2008).  In fact, periodontitis contributed to more preterm low birth weight cases than did smoking or alcohol use during pregnancy. (Clinical Periodontolgy, 2002)

Can sitting in a dental chair be harmful while pregnant?

Possibly. Sitting in a semi-reclined position or lying down position for an extended period of time can lead to compression of a large blood vessel and decreased blood flow. By turning to the left side, it removes the pressure and allows the blood to flow smoothly. A rolled towel or pillow should be placed underneath the patient’s right side during treatment.

When is the best time to have dental treatment during my pregnancy?

The 2nd trimester is the safest period for providing routine dental care.  The goal of treatment during this time is to control active disease (decay, periodontitis, etc).  All elective treatment should be delay till after birth. 

I always heard that I should not have radiograph (X-rays) taken while pregnant, is that correct?

Yes. However, it has been well established that dental radiographs are safe provided all safety items are used. Dental radiographs should only be reserved for necessary procedures such as emergencies. (Clinical Periodontolgy.  2002)

My OB/GYN told me to take folic acid, are there any dental implications with taking it as well?

Folic Acid supplements during early pregnancy have been shown to be effective in reducing the risk by 1/3 for isolated cleft lip in infants (Dr. Debroah Studen, Professor and Chair of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine)