Does Pregnancy Affect Your Oral Health?

Pregnancy has an effect on many parts of the body, including the mouth. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone expand the blood vessels and can inflame the vessels in the gum tissue. Changing hormones can also increase the likelihood of irritated gum tissue and the likelihood of tooth infections. We welcome patients to learn more about pregnancy and oral health, how to treat their teeth and gums at home, and what we can do in our Bethesda, MD, dental office to minimize infections.

Pregnancy and Oral Health in Bethesda, Maryland

Pregnancy and Oral Health Problems in Bethesda, MD

You may be more at risk of developing these dental issues during your pregnancy because of changes in hormone levels:


Increased hormone levels can lead to gum problems. Gum inflammation, or gingivitis, is a common gum problem often marked by:

  • Swollen gums
  • Red or purple-colored gum tissue
  • Gum irritation and inflammation

If you notice that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, you most likely have gingivitis. We can provide routine dental cleanings using specialized tools to clean hard-to-reach areas of the smile. At home, remember to floss and brush your teeth. Flossing before brushing can help remove food debris and provide a better clean.

Gum Disease

As gingivitis progresses, it can become periodontitis or gum disease. Patients with gum disease experience more painful symptoms and can notice:

  • Increased gum sensitivity
  • Gum recession
  • Large gum pockets

As gum disease progresses, the gum tissue pulls away from teeth, creating gum pockets and loose teeth. Before gum disease progresses, schedule a deep cleaning in our office.

Tooth Decay

Harmful bacteria affect the soft and hard tissues of the smile. Once bacteria feed on food debris left on teeth, their digestive acids can wear down the tooth enamel. Over time, holes or pits can form in teeth and expose the nerves, blood vessels, and cells within the tooth. Sticking to a healthy diet, visiting the dentist for routine appointments, and keeping a good oral hygiene routine can help prevent these dental problems during pregnancy.

Can I Visit the Dentist When I’m Pregnant?

It’s typically best to get dental work during your second trimester because it can be more difficult for you to lay on your back during your third trimester. Preventative dental treatments are important to help prevent tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. We recommend treatments like dental cleanings and exams for pregnant patients because they are safe and can help prevent complications that arise because of periodontitis or cavities. Dental x-rays are also safe for pregnant women, as we place an apron and thyroid collar to prevent radiation exposure. Even dental fillings and crowns are safe during the second trimester.

However, cosmetic dental treatments can wait. If you have current medical conditions or a high-risk pregnancy, we will postpone certain dental treatments. Please let us know if you have any concerns or conditions, and we will recommend the right options for you.

Are you pregnant and unsure if you can visit the dentist? We can help. Call Bethesda Family Smiles for treatment today at 301.500.2205. You may also schedule a dental appointment with us on our website.