Common Dental Problems in Pregnancy

And What To Do About Them!

Pregnancy can lead to dental problems in some women, including an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

But here’s the good news: pregnancy doesn’t automatically cause damage to your teeth and many of the dental issues pregnant women can face are preventable and treatable.
It is the surge in hormones and the demands of pregnancy that can lead to particular dental problems. By following a good dental hygiene routine and with professional help, your teeth should remain healthy during pregnancy.

The Importance of Looking After Your Dental Health During Pregnancy

There is research that suggest links between gum disease in pregnant women and premature births with low birth weight. Australian research, for example, estimates that 18 in every 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease, a chronic infection of the gums.

However, there is still a lot of research that needs completing on the possible link between dental infections and possible links to premature birth. With this is mind, if you suspect you have a problem with your teeth or an infection, call to make an appointment with our team.

Avoiding Dental Problems in Pregnancy – Our Top Tips

Looking after your teeth during pregnancy is essential for your well-being and that of your baby too. So what top tips do our dental team suggest?

#1 Get your dental health in shape BEFORE pregnancy

If you are thinking of starting a family, you will be given all kinds of advice on how to get your body ready but there may not be a lot of information of getting your dental health into shape too.
Make sure you are visiting your dentist regularly and follow good oral hygiene habits:

  • Brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste
  • Floss between your teeth
  • If you are considering any dental work, it is best to have this done prior to pregnancy.
#2 Tell your dentist if you are pregnant

There are some procedures that are not suitable for pregnant women. For example, X-rays which may be a routine part of your appointment will not be carried out until after the birth, unless an x-ray is unavoidable. If certain procedures have to be performed, your dentist and dental team will take all necessary precautions to protect your baby.

#3 Be informed – and take action if needed!

Your body will go through many changes when you conceive and after you have had your baby. It is an exciting but confusing and anxious time. Being informed means understanding when you need to seek professional help and advice.

If you spot any of the following signs, our dental team can help:


Raging hormones can cause some pregnant women to suffer from gum problems such as;

  • Gingivitis (gum inflammation) – more common during the second trimester
  • Undiagnosed and/or untreated periodontal disease – pregnancy can inflame a chronic gum infection
  • Pregnancy epulis or pyogenic granuloma – this is where a small section of gum becomes enlarged and bleeds easily. Professional cleaning can help.

As well as visiting your dentist, if you suffer from gum problems during pregnancy, use a softer toothbrush and brush your teeth gently twice a day.


Morning sickness can last for the few 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy or for some women, it can be an occasional problem throughout. Brought about by sudden surges in pregnancy hormones, as well as being unpleasant, vomiting can also cause problems for your teeth.

  • Avoid brushing your teeth straight after vomiting as this can damage the tooth enamel further.
  • Instead, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
  • If you have some on hand, follow this up with a fluoridated mouthwash.
  • If you don’t have mouthwash on hand, keep a small tube of fluoridated toothpaste in your bag and using your finger, smear a small dab of toothpaste across the surface of your teeth and then rinse with water.
  • After an hour, brush your teeth gently using a soft brush, being careful not to be over-vigorous.


Some women find that when they brush their teeth, especially the back molars, they begin to gag. This often leads to women not brushing their teeth properly, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay.
But what does our dental team suggest?

  • Use a smaller toothbrush, for example one designed for use by toddlers
  • Slow down the brushing action – take your time
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing – keep it steady and rhythmic
  • Play music whilst you brush your teeth and focus on this rather than on the action of brushing or the toothbrush being in your mouth
  • Consider changing your toothpaste as the gagging reflex can be caused by the smell of one product but not another


It is not unusual to experience food cravings in pregnancy but for some pregnant women, food cravings mean sugary snacks. Clearly, increasing your sugar intake is not great news for your teeth.

Cravings can be hard to tame but if low-sugar snacks are not cutting it, switch to healthier alternatives such as fruit. After eating, rinse your mouth with water but don’t brush every time as this could lead to you stripping the protective enamel on your teeth. .

Things to Remember

The demands of pregnancy on your body can lead to particular dental problems – be aware of what they could be and take action, if necessary.

If you have a good dental hygiene routine and visit your dentist regularly before pregnancy, you are less likely to have dental problems when pregnant.

But pregnant women with a great dental hygiene routine and professional help from their dentist can keep their teeth healthy during pregnancy.