If you have gingivitis while you are pregnant, you are not alone. Nearly half of all pregnant women experience this complication, commonly referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis.” Though you do not need to unnecessarily worry about it, it is cause for some specific concerns that can affect you and your growing baby.
“Pregnancy gingivitis” is diagnosed when a pregnant woman has bleeding, red, inflamed gums. You are already experiencing myriad changes as your hormone levels rise, fall and surge throughout your pregnancy. Your gums redden as the blood flow increases with the hormone fluctuations. They increase in sensitivity and are prone to the disease-causing bacteria that resides in dental plaque.
If you are seeing any of these symptoms, it is imperative that you increase your dental hygiene and routine. You may be surprised to learn that your oral health can affect your baby’s well-being. If allowed to linger, “pregnancy gingivitis” can progress into full-blown periodontitis, a serious bacterial infection. Gum disease is raises red flags during pregnancy because it can lead to:
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, called preeclampsia
- Premature or preterm birth
- A baby whose birthweight is too low
You will be encouraged to know that there are several at-home remedies that can diminish or even eradicate “pregnancy gingivitis.” Try these treatments at the first sign of gum disease:
- Increase the frequency of your tooth brushing
- Bacteria feeds on sugar. Reduce or completely remove sugary foods. They provide the baby with no valuable nutrition
- Swish with warm water and salt
- Floss often
- Clean your mouth after every episode of vomiting
With careful care, pregnancy gingivitis usually resolves on its own after the baby has been born. Even though you are busy with so many exciting plans to get ready for your baby, it is so important that you make time to come in for a complete exam and thorough cleaning.
At Springhurst Hills Dentistry, we pride ourselves on our gentle and comprehensive care for moms-to-be. Let us know if you are expecting. We look forward to celebrating your good news at your next check-up. We’ll see you soon!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Lan Tran, Springhurst Hills Dentistry
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