Pregnancy & Oral Health: Everything You Need To Know About Pregnancy Teeth

Pregnancy & Oral Health: Everything You Need To Know About Pregnancy Teeth

So, you have a little babe on the way — congrats, mama-to-be! 🤰

Your whole body is going through the most amazing transformation…

But, yet, it feels as if everything you once knew about taking care of yourself is about to change. 🥴

We have one overarching tip for you — a healthy mama = a healthy baby.

And, this extends to your mouth, teeth, and gums, too. 🦷

So, how does pregnancy affect your teeth?

And why is oral health so important during pregnancy?

We got you covered — let’s dive right in. 👇

In this article: 📝

  • How does pregnancy affect your teeth?
  • How to protect your teeth during pregnancy
  • What about protecting your gums while pregnant?
  • Can you have dental treatment if you’re pregnant?
  • How common is losing teeth during pregnancy?
  • Will my teeth go back to normal after pregnancy?

How does pregnancy affect your teeth?

First off, let’s cover how pregnancy can affect your teeth.

There’s actually a number of ways it can cause strife for your pearly whites, including causing:

  • 😰 Tooth sensitivity
  • 😡 Gingivitis (redness and irritation of the gums)
  • 🦠 Gum disease
  • 🦷 Enamel erosion
  • 🪥 Dental plaque

We’ll jump into each of these in detail below, and tell you how you can avoid these dental issues while you’re pregnant.

But, first off, if you do suspect anything’s wrong with your teeth, or you have any concerns, best bet is to check in to your dentist as soon as you can. 👩‍⚕️

Why does pregnancy affect your teeth?

So, why does this happen?

One word: hormones. 😵‍💫 [1]

We know, we know… what can’t these pesky things control?!

But, because your body is going through some pretty big changes, your hormones may be all over the place, causing certain things to happen — and that includes changes to your teeth and gums, too.

Is that why my teeth are hurting while pregnant?

Yep — it can be.

Pregnancy can cause all sorts of tooth pain and sensitivity.

So, if you’re pregnant and you’re noticing problems with your teeth, check in with your dentist as soon as you can, and they’ll advise you on the best next steps.


How to protect your teeth during pregnancy

So, as well as everythinggg else, teeth can also take a hit during pregnancy — who knew? 🙃

But prevention is better than cure, mama-to-be.

So, let’s arm you with some top tips to protect your teeth and gums during pregnancy.

✨ Optimise your oral health routine

A good oral health regime should already ideally be in place, and this should consist of:

  • ⏲️ Brushing twice a day for two minutes in front of a mirror
  • 🦷 Using a fluoride toothpaste
  • 🪥 Electric toothbrush if possible
  • 〰️ Daily interdental cleaning (using interdental sticks or floss)
  • 👩‍⚕️ Regular visits to a dentist and hygienist

🥕 Healthy diet = healthy teeth

Unusual and frequent cravings can wreak havoc on a previously healthy diet. 🥲

So, how do you cope with those intense pregnancy cravings while trying to preserve your pearly whites? 🦷

  • 🍰 Reducing sugar intake (this includes juice and fizzy drinks)
  • 🍫 Reducing frequency of snacking and grazing can reduce your risk of tooth decay
  • 🍏 Healthier food choices (including lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy)

These changes will not only benefit your oral health, but also your pregnancy and your baby. 👶

🤮 Battling morning sickness

Ahhh, the infamous morning sickness

It can be pretty hard on your teeth if you’re retching your guts up every day, as morning sickness (or evening sickness) exposes pregnant women’s teeth to wear from stomach acid. 😩

In fact, the acidic environment of the mouth can lead to enamel erosion, which causes yellowing of the teeth and increased sensitivity. 😮‍💨

And, if you suffer from severe or constant morning sickness, the acid can stay (bathed) around the teeth, causing severe wear… which may result in needing additional dental treatment.

So, how can we protect our teeth when this may be an inevitability for some pregnant women?

  • 💦 Rinse your mouth after sickness, as this can reduce the acidity and risk of decay or dental erosion.
  • 🪥 Avoid brushing immediately after, because the scrubbing action of the bristles can damage the weakened enamel. Instead, try to wait at least one hour before brushing.
  • 🥤 Try to avoid high-acid foods. This includes sugar, grains, fish, processed foods, fresh and processed meats, high-protein foods and supplements, and sodas.

So, there you go!

Routine, diet, and morning sickness tips to keep your pearly whites healthy while pregnant.

And these top tips go for anyone who’s also TTC or undergoing fertility treatment, too, as optimal oral health will make sure you’re as healthy as possible for when you do become pregnant. 🤰


What about protecting your gums while pregnant?

Swollen and bleeding gums are quite common during pregnancy. [2]

This is all because of the ever-changing hormone levels, which kinda just sends everything out of whack. 😵‍💫 

Your body has an increase in estrogen and progesterone, which helps the foetus grow and develop — but it does have it’s downsides.

It can cause inflammation, redness, and irritation of the gums (also known as gingivitis), and, if left untreated, it can cause gum disease to develop (periodontitis). [3]

Gingivitis affects around 75% of pregnant women — so, if you’re experiencing it, just know you’re not alone. ❤️ [4]

Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis include:

  • 🩸 Bleeding when brushing or flossing (that doesn’t improve with regular cleaning)
  • 😡 Red and swollen gums
  • 🤕 Very tender gums

If the gums are left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis… and this has been linked to premature delivery and low birth weight as well as tooth loss. [5]

So, that’s why oral health during pregnancy is so important. 🦷

Gum disease can be safely treated with deep cleaning by your dentist and hygienist during your pregnancy.

So, if you spot any of these symptoms, or have any concerns, get in touch with your dentist as soon as you can.

When does gingivitis start during pregnancy?

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, mama-to-be, but it can kinda start at any time. 😅

Well, more specifically, anytime between the second and eighth month — but it’s usually more severe in the second trimester. [6]

Once your baby has been born, pregnancy gingivitis should clear up. 🙏

When does teeth sensitivity start in pregnancy?

It can start right away.

Some women notice tooth sensitivity pretty early in their pregnancy, while others find it develops more as they get into their second trimester.

But, everyone is different — some women may not experience any tooth sensitivity or pain at all.

Can you have dental treatment if you’re pregnant?

In many cases, yes — you can.

But, first things first: always tell your dentist if you are pregnant.

As it happens, most dental treatments are safe to have during pregnancy — especially if your dentist thinks that there is a risk that your symptoms could worsen.

And, despite popular belief, dental x-rays during pregnancy are actually considered as safe. [7]

This is because the beam is not directed towards the abdomen.

But, you might feel uncomfortable with x-rays anyway, so you can always discuss your options with your dentist.

Together, you may then choose to delay any non-urgent x-rays or procedures until after your baby has been born.

🔍 Read More: Can You Get a Tooth Pulled While Pregnant? 🦷


How common is losing teeth during pregnancy?

Although some say it’s “highly unlikely” that pregnancy would cause teeth to fall out, the warning signs are there for tooth decay to become an issue during your pregnancy if left untreated. [8]

Others go on to say that you can lose teeth when you’re pregnant.

With the science behind the hormonal changes causing dental complications, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that tooth loss could be a result of poor dental hygiene combined with pregnancy.

So, check those teeth looked at mama-to-be, as healthy teeth and gums = healthy mama.

Also, untreated cavities can be bad for your child, too.

It’s thought that children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss are more than 3 x more likely to have cavities themselves as a child. [9]

Will my teeth go back to normal after pregnancy?

For women who haven’t got any pre-existing gum disease or tooth decay, the changes you’d experience during pregnancy are temporary.

This means the changes are reversible after you’ve given birth.

So yep — in most cases, your teeth will revert back to normal. 🙏

But, it’s, of course, important to keep up with regular brushing, flossing, and general dental care after your pregnant, too.

So, in short mama-to-be, it’s super important to stay on top of your oral health when you’re pregnant.

This way, you’ll be able to avoid any potential problems, and keep baby as healthy as possible, too. 🤗

In the meantime, why not share these tips with women who are going through it, too?

Our Community is waiting for you — join the conversation today. 🥜


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