Dental health during pregnancy: watch your mouth

It’s okay if you don’t enjoy going to the dentist, but you do become more prone to some dental problems when you are pregnant. Pregnant women are more likely to develop problems such as tooth decay, loose teeth, and gum disease. Research shows an association between poor dental health and outcomes such as pre-term birth and low birth weight, so maintaining proper oral health is important to keep you and Baby healthy.

What causes dental problems when pregnant?

Gum disease or gingivitis is the most common change most pregnant people face, it’s seen at a whopping rate of 60-75% of all pregnant people. Tooth decay can be caused by increased acidity and hormone changes in the mouth that are normal changes brought on by  pregnancy. Morning sickness and vomiting because of the acidity levels can exacerbate this tooth damage. Loose teeth could be caused by increased levels of estrogen and progesterone that affect the ligaments and bones supporting your teeth. In addition, many pregnant people change their eating habits due to cravings or nausea. You could develop a taste for sucking on sour candy all day or maybe sweeter drinks are manageable when other foods are not.


The best thing you can do is get regular preventative dental care while pregnant. This means brushing and flossing regularly at home, and getting a professional cleaning every 6 months. If you notice any dental changes or pain while pregnant, it is beneficial for you and the health of your pregnancy to see a dentist. X-rays, local anesthetic and pain medication are all safe options to consider as long as your dentist is aware that you are pregnant. If you are vomiting frequently or have significant diet changes, reach out to your dental provider for additional ways to protect your teeth.

Read more
  • “What to Expect for Your Oral Health.” Mouth Healthy. American Dental Association, n.d. Web.
  • Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women. “Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Through the Lifespan: Number 569.” ACOG. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 8/13/2015. Web.
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