Maternal oral health during pregnancy is linked to the baby’s health. Taking regular care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy is important for your baby’s health before and after birth. Also, visiting your dentist will allow him or her to assess your current oral health and map out a dental plan for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Why does tooth and gum health decline during pregnancy?

  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy can compromise the health of the mother’s gums and cause gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to more serious gum disease, which can cause to tooth loss.
  • Morning sickness, which is common during pregnancy, can cause some problems in the mouth. Stomach acid leaks into the mouth and can weaken tooth enamel; this situation puts pregnant women at risk of cavities.
  • Eating more frequently during pregnancy is common and puts the teeth in constant contact with the acid in food. This leads to increased production of bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, which produce more acid to weaken tooth enamel.

Poor maternal oral health may increase the risk of premature birth.

When there is an excessive bacteria growth in the mouth during pregnancy, these bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums and trigger the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which are suspected of triggering premature birth. Also, after baby arrives, mom can potentially pass her bacteria on to her newborn. So, a mom who has lots of harmful bacteria in her mouth will pass higher numbers of those bacteria to her newborn.

What should be done to protect oral health during pregnancy? 

  • Expecting mothers who brush their teeth thoroughly can reduce the risk of dangerous complications during pregnancy and the risk of future dental infections in their newborn babies. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and, if possible, after each meal. Also, make sure to floss every day. Also be sure to visit your dentist for regular checkups.
  • It is a common belief that women lose one tooth with each pregnancy. However, with good oral hygiene and professional oral health care, pregnant women’s teeth can stay healthy.
  • Good nutrition supports oral health. Care should be taken to consume calcium sources such as milk and yoghurt, kefir and cheese, and sugary and acidic foods should be limited.


  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2019). Brushing for Two: How Your Oral Health Affects Baby.
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). Pregnancy and Oral Health: Truth or Fiction?