By Last Updated: November 30, 2023

The female body undergoes several changes during pregnancy. One of the many changes that the body can experience is sensitivity in the teeth and gums. This is one of the most common concerns with pregnant patients dealing with mild discomfort or nagging tooth pain.

While this can be a normal stage during the pregnancy journey, sometimes, sensitive teeth and gums can mean another thing. This can be a sign of rotting teeth or even gum disease. So, it is always best to seek professional dental advice for effective and urgent care.

Causes of Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy

These are several reasons why pregnant women experience heightened teeth and gum sensitivity.

  • Hormonal Changes

Along with the hormonal imbalance that accompanies pregnancy are also the changes in which the body reacts to the bacteria in the mouth. As a result, the gums may look slightly swollen and may easily bleed. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontal disease, which in turn can cause sensitive teeth.

  • Gum Disease

Pregnancy gingivitis is a common concern which happens with increased hormonal levels. The increased hormones also cause an increase in plaque-forming bacteria in the mouth. The extra plaque may cause swelling, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums which may also cause discomfort on the teeth.

  • Increased blood flow

Increased blood flow and volume during pregnancy also increase pressure in the teeth. This makes you more susceptible to the feeling of sensitivity when consuming hot, cold, spicy, or sweet foods.

  • Diet changes

It may affect your teeth if you crave sweets or acidic foods and drinks during your pregnancy. Bacteria in plaque feed on sweets and acids. As they grow in number, your teeth may be prone to decay, which can lead to some sensitivity.

  • Morning sickness

Lastly, acids from morning sickness during pregnancy may deteriorate the tooth enamel. The enamel protects the vessels and nerves of the teeth. As enamel wears away, the nerve endings of the tooth will become exposed to trigger tooth sensitivity.

5 Effective Ways to Soothe Sensitive Teeth

  • Take note of the foods that trigger your sensitivity

One of the ways to soothe sensitivity is to identify what is causing the discomfort and do your best to lessen or avoid taking it.

Do your teeth hurt when drinking cold water? Or ice cream? Take note of these “trigger foods”. This is not always the same for everyone. So, some trial and error is needed.

  • Saltwater mouthwash can help

Salt is an excellent antibacterial agent that can also help with sensitive teeth. If the problem is caused by gum or periodontal concerns, using a warm saltwater rinse every after toothbrushing can help wash away bacteria-causing sensitivity.

To do this, simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water. Then, swish in the mouth gently for 30 seconds before spitting out. This can be done twice a day to relieve the discomfort.

  • Ask your dentist for desensitizing toothpaste

If your regular toothpaste or mouthwash is no longer cutting it, try asking your dentist for professional help. A desensitizing toothpaste has active ingredients that can provide relief.

Some of these key ingredients you should look out for in your toothpaste include potassium nitrate, calcium carbonate, and fluoride, among many others. These strengthen the tooth enamel and seal open nerve channels to reduce sensitivity.

Consider these home remedies:

  • Capsaicin
  • Turmeric
  • Green tea
  • Vanilla extract
  • Honey and warm water
  • Clove oil

These ingredients you can find at home or at your local drugstore have proven antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to the area of discomfort, it can provide some relief from sensitivity.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene

Lastly, one of the best ways to improve your overall oral care and health experience during pregnancy is to keep your oral hygiene routine in check. Make sure to brush, floss, and use your mouthwash two to three times a day. This will eliminate plaque and bacteria to keep your teeth and gums in good health, effectively preventing sensitivity.

Also, make sure you visit your dentist every 6 months for dental health maintenance. Routine comprehensive check-ups are key to identifying budding signs of teeth and gum sensitivity for early management and treatment.

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Overlooking your teeth and gums during pregnancy can lead to consequences not just on your smile, but also on your and your baby’s overall health. Keep your oral health in tiptop shape with these tips:

  • Practice gentle oral care

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is good for sensitive teeth. It effectively cleans between and around the teeth to remove plaque and avoid gum disease. This will keep your teeth and gums healthy and pain-free in between your pregnancy.

  • Use fluoride-rich toothpaste

Fluoride is crucial to keeping the teeth strong and cavity-free by making the teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque or bacteria in the mouth. This is also especially helpful if you are suffering from acid reflux or morning sickness.

  • Consider an antibacterial mouthwash

Antibacterial mouthwashes help wash away bacteria that your toothbrush cannot reach. Such as under the gums and in the nooks and crannies of teeth. This prevents and eliminates gum disease which is a common problem for pregnant women.

  • Eat a balanced diet

Eating your fruits and vegetables, maintaining a good diet as prescribed by your doctor, and enriching your body with foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients is also a good way to keep the teeth and gums disease-free.

  • Visit your dentist

Lastly, take the time to visit your dentist as routine care. And if you have any concerns, do not delay your dental visit. Early treatment is key to avoiding irreversible complications.

If you see signs such as irritating and sensitive gum tissues or discomfort in your teeth, book a visit with us at Springbank Dental for appropriate guidance and treatment.

Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy – Conclusion

Hormonal and dietary changes and pregnancy gingivitis are some of the unavoidable causes of teeth sensitivity that come with pregnancy. However, while these cannot be controlled, how you maintain your oral health during the natal period can help lessen or eliminate the effects of teeth sensitivity.

If you are unsure how to manage your oral health while you are pregnant, our friendly dental team at Springbank Dental can help. Contact us today to book your appointment! With proper and consistent guidance, you will be able to enjoy your pregnancy journey without worrying about dental problems.