How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Oral Health & Your Baby? Key Pointers For Pregnant Moms

Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in your body. Most of these changes are hormonally driven, affecting the mind, body — and yes — even the mouth! Pregnancy is that time in a woman’s life that she is most in-tuned to her body and the shifts it creates. It's also the best time to lay a strong foundation in health for the growing family. In this blog from Trooth & Smiles, here are some key things to watch out for when it comes to oral wellness.

Common Dental Changes During Pregnancy

Every mother is different, and some of these problems may or may not affect you. But many pregnant women experience at least some of the following dental changes:

  • Sensitive teeth – Pregnancy hormones can make your teeth and gums feel more sensitive to heat, cold, and the pressure of chewing.

  • Gagging with toothpaste – Hormones affect taste buds and play a role in flavors that a pregnant woman may detest even though it was perfectly fine before pregnancy. Dislike for mint flavored toothpaste (which can cause an increased gag reflex) is typically experienced in the first trimester, but may continue throughout pregnancy.

  • Pregnancy gingivitis – Pregnancy hormones make gums hyper reactive to bacterial plaque, which can cause gingivitis (bleeding gums), the first stage of gum disease. Primarily seen during the second trimester through the 8th month prenatal period, this usually goes away after pregnancy or postpartum. It occurs in at least 50% of pregnant women. Maternal gum disease is associated with risk of low birth weight and preeclampsia.

  • Increased risk of tooth decay – Hormonal changes, acid reflux, and morning sickness may lead to higher acid levels in the mouth. Indulging in cravings for sweet and processed, high-carb foods can also increase your risk of tooth decay while pregnant.

Pregnancy “Tumors” – Don’t let the name scare you. “Pregnancy tumors” are small bumps and growths on the gums caused by pregnancy. They're benign and harmless. Also called “pyogenic granulomas,” these tumors usually go away after you give birth.

How Can I Care For My Teeth During My Pregnancy?

Proper oral care is essential as your baby grows and develops. Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your mouth healthy.

  • Brush and floss regularly – You should brush 2X times per day and floss at least once a day. If you dislike mint flavored toothpaste, try fruity or non-flavored options. Consentient at-home oral hygiene can help mitigate and reduce most dental changes during pregnancy.

  • See a dentist for checkups – Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings depending upon the changes seen in your oral health while you are pregnant.

  • Eat a nutritious diet – Eat a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, and other wholesome foods. It's tough to fight off cravings! do your best to consume water or rinse your mouth with water after an “indulgence” or frequent snacking.

  • Manage morning sickness – Stomach acids, which are a part of vomit, can dissolve protective enamel making teeth more prone to cavities and sensitivity. Instead of brushing right after throwing up, rinse your mouth out with water and wait 30 minutes before you brush.

What Dental Procedures Are Safe During Pregnancy?

It is recommended that if you are in dental pain you should have that issue treated. Procedures like cleanings and fillings are considered safe as they prevent the progression of disease. The second trimester is considered the safest trimester for more involved procedures and it is a lot harder to sit in the dental chair for longer periods in the third trimester.


However, we recommend delaying elective treatments until after you give birth. That includes things like teeth whitening, dental veneers, and other cosmetic dentistry treatments.

When Should I See A Dentist For Dental Issues During Pregnancy?

Whenever you think something’s wrong. If you’re having concerns about your oral health during pregnancy, a dentist in Irvine like Dr. Mita Jethwani can help. At your appointment, Dr. Mita can assess your oral health, diagnose your condition, and recommend dental treatments and lifestyle changes that will keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Contact Trooth & Smiles For Your Next Appointment Today!

Whether you’re pregnant and overdue for your routine exam and cleaning in Irvine, or you’re experiencing changes in your oral health and you’re concerned about your teeth and gums, we’re here to help. At Trooth & Smiles, Dr. Jethwani and our team are standing by to help. Give us a call at (949) 346-9696 or contact us online to schedule your appointment right away.