Your mouth can apparently show more than just signs of cavities and plaque. According to one dental student, your teeth could also reveal if you’re expecting. That’s right, Sukhmani Pandher, a dental student at the University of Minnesota, has gone viral on TikTok after revealing how dentists can tell if you’re pregnant by simply looking in your mouth.
In the TikTok video, which has garnered over 75,000 views, Pandher points out a few signs of an expecting bundle of joy on the way. Those signs include inflammation of the gums, meaning they’re “tender and more prone to bleeding,” Pandher explains in the video. According to the dental student, pregnancy gingivitis is seen in 30% to 50% of expectant patients.
“I have heard stories about pregnancy gingivitis from faculty at my dental school and encountered it in a couple of my patients too,” Pandher tells Romper. The fourth-year dental student says she chose to promote this information on TikTok because it’s a “great platform to reach a wide audience.”
“Dentistry can induce anxiety in many people, so being able to educate on a fun platform is invaluable,” she says.
Pregnancy gingivitis is an inflammatory response to dental plaque that causes gingivae to spread and bleed and tends to increase in the third trimester, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The condition is caused by “hormonal changes that increase the blood flow to the gum tissue and cause your gums to be more sensitive, irritable, and swollen.” The ACOG suggests the best treatment for pregnancy gingivitis is rinsing your mouth with salt water to help with the irritation.
The video is part of a three-part series Pandher created on TikTok called Things Your Dentist Can Tell You. The first two parts of the series talk about bulimia nervosa and identifying those who are smokers. But at the end of the day, maintaining a clean mouth falls back on two words: staying healthy. “Oral health is related to overall confidence, speech, eating, and systemic health,” Pandher tells Romper.
Pandher’s TikTok account has over 14,300 followers and that number keeps growing. Her pregnancy gingivitis video has been one of the most popular ones. “My hope is that this video encourages women to take care of their teeth during pregnancy,” she says.
So although missing your menstrual cycle and morning sickness are two of the most common signs of pregnancy, the next time your gums get irritated, you may want to pick up a test.