Dental care is especially important during pregnancy. Let your dentist know you’re pregnant, so proper screening and treatment guidelines can be followed.
By Krisha McCoy
Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
Carrying a child affects your entire body — and that goes for your mouth, too.
Since your teeth and gums can be affected by the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, you’ll need to pay special attention to your dental health when you’re pregnant.
In addition, there are a few extra safety measures you will need to be sure are followed when going to the dentist. Here’s how to stay on top of your dental care when you’re expecting.
How Pregnancy Affects Your Dental Health
Problems that women may experience with their teeth and mouth during pregnancy include:
- Pregnancy gingivitis. Increased levels of the hormone progesterone can result in gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. This, along with pregnancy-related changes in your immune system, can cause your gums to become red and swollen, and you may experience bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis usually go away after the baby is born.
- Periodontal disease. Some pregnant women experience a more serious dental condition, called periodontal, or gum disease. Periodontal disease occurs when a bacterial infection develops in pockets below the gum line, which can damage the fibers that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease can also