Important News About Pregnancy and Fluoridated Water

A recent study published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics has found that drinking too much fluoridated water during pregnancy may account for a nominal dip in IQ in male children. The Canadian study revealed that among pregnant women whose urine contained fluoride, an increase of 1 milligram accounted for an average 4.5-point reduction in their sons’ IQs. For those with girls, no significant decrease in IQ points was present.

Despite these findings, both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association still recommend pregnant women continue drinking fluoridated water, though both organizations recommend possibly reducing the amount consumed while pregnant.

Dr. Allison Lesko of Fort Collins, Colorado, agrees.

“Fluoridated water is still an excellent way to get the much-needed fluoride to protect your teeth and your child’s developing teeth from cavities,” she says.

Cavities affect up to 90 percent of the population, with one in four adults having untreated cavities.

“Poor oral health can take its toll on overall health, especially in pregnant women,” says Lesko.

Things like gum disease have been proven to cause low birth weight in babies, and gum disease can be caused by cavities if the cavity irritates the gums.

“Our oral health is tied closely to our overall health, and that includes both the teeth and gums,” Lesko says.

Another organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, echoes the importance of oral health care during pregnancy and continues to recommend pregnant women brush with fluoridated toothpaste during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has agreed to consider this new information when updating its pregnancy guidelines.

Lesko, for her part, says it’s important for people to not misunderstand the study and be scared away from fluoride altogether.

“The recommendation of the study’s authors is that pregnant women reduce fluoride levels, not discontinue them entirely,” she says.

Lesko recommends alternating fluoridated tap water with un-fluoridated bottled water.

“By simply swapping out a few glasses of water per day with un-fluoridated water, you can cut your fluoride levels and hopefully boost the IQ a little bit,” she says. “But be sure to continue drinking fluoridated water to some degree and make sure to resume your normal level of fluoridated water intake after the pregnancy.”

If by chance you do still develop gingivitis or cavities during pregnancy, Lesko says don’t panic.

“We can still perform fillings during pregnancy.”

Gingivitis is a common pregnancy issue. Upwards of 70 percent of women develop what is known as pregnancy gingivitis, sometimes despite excellent oral care. The good news, according to Lesko, is that the condition usually clears up on its own following the birth of the child. However, pregnant women are still encouraged to visit the dentist frequently during pregnancy to monitor their oral health.


Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Improves Periodontal Disease Symptoms

You’ve probably heard it before: Diet and exercise can make a dramatic improvement in nearly any condition that ails you. But a new study from the German Research Foundation published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology has found that a diet that is said to reduce inflammation can also improve the symptoms of periodontal disease.

Periodontal, or gum, disease is caused by inflammation of the gums. It happens when plaque and bacteria enter the gums and bloodstream, causing red, tender gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. Early-stage gum disease is called gingivitis – and it’s completely reversible with diligent oral health care. But often times it is not treated and can turn into full-blown periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect the gums – it can cause everything from gum tissue and tooth loss to bone loss. Recent studies have also linked it to cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.

So, how common is periodontal disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control, a reported 47.2 percent of American adults suffer from some stage of periodontal disease, and as age increases, so too do the number of periodontal disease cases.

“It’s a very big problem we’re not talking enough about,” says Dr. Allison Lesko, a dentist from Fort Collins, Colorado.

That’s because many people simply don’t realize how serious it is – or how deeply it affects the rest of the body.

But now, there may be a helpful solution on the way in the form of a diet.

“Researchers found that when they prescribed nothing more than a diet change to a group of 15 participants, there was a significant reduction in the severity of periodontitis symptoms,” says Lesko. “That same change was not present at all among the control group.”

So, what was the big change that caused such dramatic results?

“The diet was anti-inflammatory,” says Lesko.

That means it was specifically designed to include foods that reduce inflammation in the body. It was rich in foods like legumes, fruits, nuts and fish, and low in foods containing sugar, dairy and trans fats.

Upon consuming the special diet for eight weeks, researchers noticed a marked reduction in inflammation and bleeding in the study participants, who did nothing else to change their lifestyle during the study.

“They didn’t brush more or floss their teeth – they literally made no changes other than to adapt this anti-inflammatory diet, and that alone improved their periodontal disease symptoms across the board,” Lesko says.

So, should you use an anti-inflammatory diet to treat your own periodontal disease?

“Making positive changes to your diet can’t hurt,” says Lesko. “But we still want to see patients take better care of their teeth, and that means both brushing twice a day and flossing.”

Contact The Fort Collins Dentist Family & Implant Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2001 S Shields St Bldg L
Fort Collins, Colorado