Pregnancy and Oral health: Things to consider


Pregnancy is very exciting and brings joy in every women’s life. However, since there is a lot to do, it’s not always possible to take care of everything. But one should always stay at the top of their oral health to prevent any oral diseases during and after pregnancy. Pregnant women are highly susceptible to several oral health conditions that can harm their health and the baby’s too. To maintain proper oral and dental health, lifelong, efficient care is required. In women, oral care is critical during pregnancy, menopausal periods, and breastfeeding.


How does pregnancy affect your oral health?

When you are pregnant, it enhances your risk for oral health issues, and these issues can affect your pregnancy. Taking proper care of your mouth, gums, and teeth during pregnancy helps have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Any changes in your body at the time of pregnancy can have an impact on your gums and teeth. Here are a few examples:

  • Hormones like progesterone and estrogen increase in levels during pregnancy, enhancing the risks of some oral health issues.
  • Your eating habit changes. You might like eating certain foods in more amounts than what you were eating before pregnancy. This can impact your dental health.
  • You might brush and floss less when you get pregnant. This might be because your gums are tender, or you might be more tired. In many women brushing and flossing also causes nausea due to which they avoid brushing and flossing.

All these changes can enhance the risk of dental issues at the time of pregnancy which includes

  • Cavities
  • Gingivitis
  • Swelling and redness
  • Gum bleeding
  • Shiny gums
  • Gum tenderness
  • Periodontal disease
  • Tooth erosion
  • Sensitivity


Signs and Symptoms of dental issues at the time of pregnancy

See your dentist if you notice any signs or symptoms of dental problems. While signs are conditions that others can see or know about you, such as a rash or you are coughing, symptoms are something that you feel yourself and others can't see, such as sore throat or feeling of dizziness.

Signs and symptoms of dental issues during pregnancy are

  • Bad breath
  • Loosen teeth
  • Sores in mouth
  • New space between teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Gums that are red, shiny, swollen, and tender
  • Toothache

How are dental issues treated at the time of pregnancy?

When you have dental issues requiring treatment, ensure your dentist knows you are pregnant. Based on your condition, you might be able to wait for dental treatment after the baby is born. 

How can you prevent dental problems during pregnancy?

  • Get regular dental checkups before and during pregnancy. At your checkups, tell your dentist the signs or symptoms you are facing like lousy breath, space between your teeth, receding gums, lumps or sores in your mouth, pain, or red swollen teeth.
  • Dental checkups before and during pregnancy are essential, so your dentist can find and treat dental problems early. And regular teeth cleanings help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  • Based on your oral health condition, medicines such as pain killers and antibiotics can be used for treating infections. Your dentist offers a safe treatment both for you and your baby at the time of pregnancy. When your dentist prescribes you medicine, tell this to your prenatal care provider. Never take any medicine without telling your prenatal care provider.
  • You can get dental treatment anytime during pregnancy. It is an elective treatment which means it's not immediate. Try scheduling it in the second trimester.


Prevention of dental problems during pregnancy

Here's what you can do to prevent dental issues:

  • Brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste twice a day and floss once daily. Make use of a toothbrush having soft bristles. Brushing and flossing regularly help remove plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  • If you cannot use a toothbrush because of vomiting, take antacids or wash your mouth using a teaspoon of baking soda in one cup of water. Rinsing assists in decreasing the acid present in your mouth. Antacids are those medicines that assist in neutralizing stomach acid. You can quickly get them over the counter without any prescription. But do not take any medicine without making conversation.
  • Visit your dentist for a dental checkup every six months, even during pregnancy. Before checkup, tell your dentist about your pregnancy.
  • Consume healthy food: Healthy food mainly involves vegetables and fruits, whole green bread, pasta, etc. Try to limit your intake of sweets and other sugary foods. You can drink plain water rather than these sugary drinks. When you eat healthy food, it offers you and your baby vital nutrients. Some nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamin A, C, and D assist in keeping your baby's teeth healthy.

Health care providers like, gynecologist, obstetrics pediatric and maternity care providers including dentists should consider paying more careful attention to oral health of women who are pregnant. MyDentalPlan is a India’s Largest Dental Network Platform where many eminent dentists exist. You can consult them both online and offline and learn how to keep your oral health in good condition during pregnancy. 




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.


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