Pregnancy & Oral Health

August 30, 2022

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, heartburn, varicose veins… the list of pregnancy side effects is a long one. No part of your body is immune, apparently — even your teeth. Pregnancy can make women more prone to periodontal (gum) disease and cavities which is why oral health is increasingly considered an important part of prenatal care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 60 to 75% of women who are pregnant get gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease. “This can result in gums bleeding and becoming red and swollen from inflammation and is caused by changes in progesterone and estrogen levels. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into more serious periodontal disease leading to bone and tooth loss.

One woman’s story got lots of people wondering just how much damage pregnancy can do to your oral health. Known to her internet followers as Princess Glitterhead, Alicia Hebner recently shared how her life was dramatically changed after receiving help from Dr. Todd Shatkin, an upstate New York implant dentist. Dr Shatkin was Dr. Alan Robinson’s early implant mentor in a professional and personal relationship that has grown into the two of them speaking and instructing together on implant surgery at symposiums and seminars throughout North America.

According to Shatkin, Alicia began having major problems with her teeth while pregnant with her first child. Although she underwent general dental care, her oral health issues persisted. Rather than the joy that typically accompanies a new marriage and the birth of a first child, Alicia was losing her teeth and had no idea what to do. By the time she had her fourth child, Alicia had lost all her teeth, and was experiencing overwhelming anxiety, heart palpitations, deepening depression, lack of confidence, and feared her marriage would not survive.

Alicia’s first step was to receive dentures secured by mini dental implants, which, with Dr. Shatkin’s help, were replaced with removal snap-in mini dental implants. However, a new procedure involving cementing permanent teeth in place has given Alicia a whole new lease on life. Dr. Shatkin indicated that, “Alicia was finally able to act and feel like she had her own set of teeth again,” Both Dr. Shatkin and Alicia decided to share her story and the new procedure, which involves adding minimally invasive implants to her upper jaw, in a YouTube video. “The process involved adding implants to the upper jaw and placing a bridge over them. There is no pain involved and after receiving a temporary bridge to house the new implants, patients like Alicia receive their permanent device in as little as 10 days,” explained Dr. Shatkin.

Mini dental implants have been used for decades to hold loose dentures in place, providing patients with the ability to eat, smile and speak with comfort and confidence, and yes, transform them into becoming princesses again. To watch Alicia’s story and see how Dr. Shatkin performed the amazing step-by-step procedure that has transformed her into the real princess that she was meant to be, click here.

Taking care of your teeth is important at every age and stage, of course. But experts agree that during pregnancy, it’s even more crucial to stay on top of your oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends that pregnant women eat a balanced diet, brush their teeth thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, floss daily and continue professional care during and after pregnancy.

If you want to learn more about Minimally Invasive Dental Implants and the process used by both Dr. Shatkin in New York and Dr. Robinson’s implant team here in Michigan, click here.