A dental student has gone viral on TikTok after revealing that a dentist might be able to tell whether a patient is pregnant just by looking at their mouth. TikTok user @thatdentalgal_ who boasts nearly 14,000 followers, has been sharing tips about what a dentist can detect, including eating disorders, sinus infections, and whether someone is a smoker.
Sukhmani, who identifies as a fourth-year dental student on her TikTok profile, has garnered over 75,000 likes on her "Part 3" of the video series, which explains that there are a few indicators in a patient’s mouth that may reveal a pregnancy, including nausea and enamel erosion and "pregnancy gingivitis," which she said is seen in up to 30-50% of expectant women.
Symptoms may include inflamed and tender gums that are more prone to bleeding. According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnancy gingivitis is caused by hormonal changes that increase the blood flow to the gum tissue and cause gums to be more sensitive, irritable and swollen.
The hormonal changes may also hinder the body’s response to bacteria, potentially leading to periodontal infections which makes it easier for plaque to build up on the teeth. The severity of pregnancy gingivitis usually increases in the second trimester, according to the association.
The American Dental Association recommends pregnant women continue to see their dentist for oral examinations and cleanings. The association advises pregnant women to continue with daily care such as routine brushing twice daily and flossing.
"Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, and untreated dental disease can be harmful to you and your baby," the association advises. "Be sure to include your oral health in your daily self-care routine and keep your dentist informed of any changes in your oral health during pregnancy."
The video both shocked unexpected users and prompted others to share their own dental pregnancy symptoms.
"Me checking if I’m pregnant without having to take a pregnancy test," one user responded.
"Omg when I was pregnant I kid you not some of my teeth were loose I was terrified," another said.
Another said that her mother was asked by a dentist how far along she was in her pregnancy and she hadn’t even known yet.
"Please this scares me on my way to brush my teeth 8 times a day," another one said.