All Woman

Your pregnancy: dental health

Baby Steps

Thursday, April 03, 2014    

Print this page Email A Friend!

Some pregnant women suffer from swollen, tender gums that bleed when they floss or brush. This is also caused by higher progesterone levels, which make the gums react more to the bacteria in plaque, and causes an increased blood supply to the mouth. This is said to affect about half of the pregnant population.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also aggravate existing gingivitis, which typically worsens between the second to eighth months of pregnancy. Periodontal disease can increase the risk of delivery of preterm low birth weight babies.

Other possible dental health problems during pregnancy include tooth decay and loose teeth. During pregnancy, increased acidity in the mouth increases the risk of tooth decay. Vomiting during pregnancy can aggravate the problem by exposing the teeth to more gastric acid.

And increased levels of progesterone and estrogen can affect the ligaments and bones that support the teeth, causing teeth to loosen during pregnancy - even in the absence of gum disease.

It is, therefore, very important for pregnant women to visit a dentist.

They should also brush and floss regularly and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.

Ideally, women should schedule a dental exam before pregnancy to treat any dental problems ahead of time. Also visit your dentist regularly during pregnancy.

— Some information from the Mayo Clinic.





1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus


Is oral sex a requirement in your relationship?

View Results »

Results published weekly in All Woman


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon