Pregnancy brings an array of ailments: The dreaded back pain, daily sickness and the constant fatigue, to name but a few. But did you know the effects pregnancy can have on your oral health?

Don't forget to floss! - photo credit: Pixabay

Don't forget to floss! - photo credit: Pixabay

It is part of our daily routine to brush our teeth and maintain healthy oral care but as soon as the cravings hit (and hit hard!) this can have a huge impact on our teeth.

A new study has revealed that many pregnant women are unaware of the benefits good oral healthcare can encourage in pregnancy and found that there is a need to improve public awareness of the benefits of good oral health to our overall health.

Ipsos and GSK Consumer Healthcare – who carried out the research – states good oral health can contribute to a healthier pregnancy and lower the risk of complications.

The study indicates that during pregnancy higher hormone levels can change the way the body reacts to plaque build-up - causing swollen gums - an early sign of gum disease. Pregnant women with severe gum disease are more at risk of giving birth prematurely, suffer pre-eclampsia, or have a baby with low birth weight. 

Cleaning teeth regularly with the right products and visiting dentists should be a simple, accessible way for people all around the world to improve their everyday oral health.

Professor Nicola X West, Professor Restorative Dentistry (Periodontology) at Bristol Dental School, said: “The association between oral health and overall health is well-documented by the scientific community. However, public awareness of the wider benefits of careful tooth-brushing, taking care of your oral cavity and regular dentist visits remains worryingly low. There is a real need to show consumers that it can be more than their smile put at risk if they don’t take care of their mouths properly.” 

 Dr Stephen Mason, Medical Lead, GSK Consumer Healthcare Oral Health, added: “Being healthy isn’t all about broadcasting your runs or snapping photos at the gym – it can be the most mundane, behind-the-scenes habits that have the biggest impact. Good oral care habits like good, regular tooth-brushing using proven effective consumer healthcare products (toothpaste, mouth rinse and floss) are no exception. We need to show people the power of getting these habits right due to the many positive effects this can have on overall health, ultimately reducing the risk of developing a number of health conditions in the long term.


All findings taken from GSK’s consumer healthcare business and Ipsos study.

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