A fourth-year dental student has suggested on TikTok that some dentists can tell if their patients are pregnant, just by examining their mouths.
Sukhmani, who posts under the handle @thatdentalgal_ on the social media platform, runs a series called “Things a dentist can tell about you just by looking in your mouth”.
In part three, she suggests that dentists can tell if you are pregnant, due to enamel erosion caused by nausea, but also due to something called “pregnancy gingivitis”, which Sukhmani says is seen in 30 to 50 per cent of pregnant patients.
“Gums become inflamed and tender and more prone to bleeding,” comments the TikToker in her post, which has garnered 75,000 likes.
Sukhmani’s post prompted users to share stories of their experiences at the dentist while pregnant, one claimed the dentist revealed her mum’s pregnancy. “My mom said the dentist asked how far along she was – she didn’t know she was pregnant yet!” wrote Melissa Maze.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, swollen gums are a common complaint in pregnancy as is bleeding in the mouth, due to “hormonal changes that increase the blood flow to the gum tissue and cause your gums to be more sensitive, irritable, and swollen”.
The association states that pregnancy gingivitis is usually at its worse in the second trimester. “These hormonal changes also hinder the body’s normal response to bacteria which can cause periodontal infections. This makes it easier for plaque to build up on your teeth and makes you more susceptible to gingivitis,” reads the American Pregnancy Association website.
Dentists advise the best way to combat pregnancy gingivitis is through good oral hygiene, brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.