Routine dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, although some procedures or medication should be avoided in the first 3 months, so be sure to tell your dentist you are pregnant.

Morning sickness, vomiting and acid reflux

Pregnant women who experience morning sickness with vomiting and/or acid reflux are at high risk of tooth erosion.
Tooth erosion is the gradual wearing away or dissolving of the outer enamel layer of your teeth.

To reduce risk of tooth erosion and damage to your teeth after vomiting/reflux you can:

  • Rinse your mouth immediately with water or a mouth rinse. (e.g. Add a teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to a cup of water to rinse and spit after vomiting)
  • Chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva to neutralise and wash away acid.
  • Smear a little bit of toothpaste over your teeth with your finger.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid damaging softened enamel surface.

Tooth erosion is the gradual wearing away or dissolving of the outer enamel layer of your teeth.

Gum disease and pregnancy

Many women can develop gum disease during pregnancy because of natural hormonal changes in the body. If gum disease becomes severe, the infection can affect an unborn baby’s development. Severe gum disease in an expectant mother can increase the risk of premature birth and of delivering a low birth weight baby. There may be possible long-term health risks for a child born prematurely or of low birth weight.
Signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums.
  • Red gums (instead of pink).
  • Swollen gums.
  • Bad breath.

If you suspect you may have gum disease, talk to a dentist or an oral health professional. Gum disease can be treated.

Smoking

Smoking while pregnant is not good for you and your unborn baby and it can also lead to gum disease. If you smoke, consider quitting.