Dental Blog

Why Pregnant Women Still Need to See the Dentist

Why Pregnant Women Still Need to See the Dentist

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pregnancy dentist holland mi

Going to the dentist while pregnant is just as important as seeing your obstetrician.

Studies show that pregnant women have a higher risk of gum disease than women who are not expecting. Hormonal changes also increase your risk for sore gums and sensitive teeth.

Here’s what you need to know about receiving dental care while pregnant.

Safety Concerns

Please let our dentist know if you’re pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. Dr. Habecker and his team will take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of both you and your child.

A dental checkup and teeth cleaning are safe at any point of your pregnancy. But you’ll want to avoid major procedures during the first trimester. The only exception might be if you need urgent dental care and/or there’s a risk of infection.

We also want to put your mind at ease about dental X-rays.

The American Dental Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists both agree that dental X-rays are safe during pregnancy.

The amount of radiation exposure is very low and won’t affect your child’s development in the womb. We’ll also cover your abdomen with a protective lead apron while taking X-rays.

We’ll take every precaution to keep you and your baby safe during your appointment. For example, our office uses digital dental X-rays. This exposes you to 80% less radiation than if we used traditional film-based X-rays.

Hormonal Changes and Gingivitis

According to, 40% of pregnant women develop gingivitis. This may be due to a higher level of progesterone that makes it easier for bacteria to grow in the mouth.

As a result, you may notice that your gums bleed, are swollen, or feel tender. These are all signs of pregnancy gingivitis.

The good news is that gingivitis is reversible by practicing good oral hygiene. You’ll also need to continue seeing our dentist for preventive care.

For more information, check out our blog post that offers 5 tips for preventing gum disease.

Benign Pregnancy Tumors

It’s also not uncommon for pregnant women to get benign mouth tumors. But there’s no reason to feel alarmed as these tumors aren’t cancerous.

A pregnancy tumor is a swollen tissue overgrowth between your teeth. It may look raw and have a strawberry-like texture.

In general, women may experience pregnancy tumors during the second trimester. But you may develop them at any point during the pregnancy.

About 10% of pregnant women develop these benign tumors. You may also have a higher risk of getting pregnancy tumors if you also have gingivitis.

Pregnancy tumors usually disappear on their own after you give birth.

Morning Sickness and Tooth Decay

Did you know that morning sickness increases your risk of tooth decay? Vomiting increases acid in the mouth, which weakens tooth enamel over time.

After vomiting, wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth. That way, your enamel has enough time to recover after being exposed to acid.

Our dentist can determine whether your morning sickness is affecting your oral health. Dr. Habecker may also suggest ways to improve your oral hygiene routine at home so you can lower your risk of cavities.


Many women don’t experience any oral health issues during pregnancy. But each patient is different.

Sometimes hormonal changes can aggravate certain medical conditions. For example, if you have gum disease, your symptoms may worsen during pregnancy.

That’s why it’s important that you let us know if you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant. We’ll take extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of you and your baby.

Request an Appointment With Us

Dr. Brenton Habecker is an experienced family dentist in Holland, MI. As such, he treats patients of all ages during all stages of life, including pregnancy. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Habecker, call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team