Your pregnant body
Gum and teeth change
- Hormonal changes
- Increased blood flow throughout your body that can cause swelling, sensitivity and tenderness in your gums
It's important to keep you gums and teeth healthy during pregnancy.
Keep teeth and gums clean.
- If possible, brush after every meal for at least 5 minutes at a time.
- Floss daily. If possible, floss after every meal.
Be gentle with your teeth and gums.
- Use a soft-bristled brush and brush gently.
- If you have a lot of sensitivity, try using toothpaste designed for sensitive gums.
- If your gums hurt after brushing, apply ice to soothe the pain.
Cut down on sweets.
- Candy, cookies, cake, soft drinks and other sweets can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Instead, have fresh fruit or make other healthy choices to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Get regular dental care.
- If left unchecked, some conditions, like gingivitis, may lead to more serious gum disease.
- Be sure to have a dental checkup early in pregnancy to help your mouth remain healthy.
- You may even want to see your dentist more often than usual.
Don't put off dental work until after delivery.
- Decaying teeth can cause infection that could harm your baby.
- Always be sure to tell your dentist that you're pregnant and how far along you are.
Schedule a dental appointment immediately if:
- Your gums bleed a lot
- Your gums are painful
- You have bad breath that doesn't go away
- You lose a tooth
- You have a lump or growth in your mouth
- You have pain in a tooth
For more information
Download a brochure from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center.