Gum and teeth change

During pregnancy, you may have changes in your gums and teeth.

What kinds of gum and teeth changes are common during pregnancy?

Your gums are more likely to become inflamed or infected during pregnancy. Most pregnant women have some bleeding of their gums, especially while brushing or flossing their teeth. Inflamed gums are called gingivitis. Infected gums are called periodontal disease. 

What causes gum and teeth changes during pregnancy?

You may notice that your mouth produces more saliva during pregnancy. Your gums and teeth may change during pregnancy because of:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Increased blood flow throughout your body that can cause swelling, sensitivity and tenderness in your gums

How can you keep your gums and teeth healthy during pregnancy?

Here's how you can 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.
  • 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.

When should you call your dentist?

See your dentist right away 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

More information

During pregnancy, you may have changes in your gums and teeth.

What kinds of gum and teeth changes are common during pregnancy?

Your gums are more likely to become inflamed or infected during pregnancy. Most pregnant women have some bleeding of their gums, especially while brushing or flossing their teeth. Inflamed gums are called gingivitis. Infected gums are called periodontal disease. 

What causes gum and teeth changes during pregnancy?

You may notice that your mouth produces more saliva during pregnancy. Your gums and teeth may change during pregnancy because of:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Increased blood flow throughout your body that can cause swelling, sensitivity and tenderness in your gums

How can you keep your gums and teeth healthy during pregnancy?

Here's how you can 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.
  • 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.

When should you call your dentist?

See your dentist right away 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

More information