The Connection Between Oral Health & Pregnancy

Evidence shows that receiving dental care during pregnancy can improve the health of both baby and mother by reducing the risk of gum disease and poor birth outcomes.

Learn more about why it’s important for birthing people to have great oral health routines and Count the Kicks daily in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy – including changes to your mouth. Making sure you are taking care of your oral health may not be at the top of your to-do list, but it is even more important when you are pregnant.

Some common changes that can impact your teeth include:

Hormonal Increases: Hormone changes can increase blood flow to your gum tissues, causing sensitivity, bleeding or swollen gums. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis, which has been linked to poor pregnancy outcomes, including pre-term birth and low birth weight. [Source]

Morning Sickness: If your morning sickness causes you to throw up, you may have more acid in your mouth. That acid can eat away at the top layer of your teeth (also known as enamel). Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards to help wash away the acid.

Cavities: With pregnancy likely comes cravings. If you crave sugary snacks, you may be at risk of getting cavities. Women who have a lot of cavity-causing bacteria during pregnancy and after delivery could pass the bacteria from their mouth to the mouth of their baby. [Source]

DID YOU KNOW?

Good dental health habits are even more important during pregnancy. Make sure to see your dentist while pregnant; it is safe and important for both you AND your baby.

  • Dental Visits

    Regular dental checkups can reduce your risk of periodontitis.

  • Fact about Oral Health

    60-75%

    60-75% of women have gingivitis during pregnancy.

  • 1 in 4 women

    1 in 4

    1 in 4 women of childbearing age have untreated cavities.

  • 3 months

    Your baby’s teeth start to grow 3 months into pregnancy.

Count the Kicks + Delta Dental of Iowa

Thanks to a partnership with Delta Dental of Iowa we have created an innovative campaign focused on connecting the dots between the importance of practicing good oral hygiene while pregnant AND counting your baby’s movements. For more information about this project please contact Megan Aucutt, Program Director.

Going to the dentist while pregnant is vitally important. Research has shown that oral health is important to overall health yet often ignored, especially among those who may be at even higher risk of experiencing oral health issues such as African Americans, those with diabetes, and heart disease, lower income individuals, and even children.

Learn More

RESOURCES

Visit these resources for more information on the connection between oral health and pregnancy.

Download the App

By having a kick counting session each day in the third trimester with the free Count the Kicks app, you can monitor your baby’s health and get to know what’s normal for them.

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A woman's hand holds a smartphone with the Count the Kicks app on screen.

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Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant for diagnosis or treatment. Use of this information should be done in accordance with your healthcare provider.