GUM HEALTH

Pregnancy Gingivitis: Symptoms & Treatments During Pregnancy

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What is Pregnancy Gingivitis?

During pregnancy, about half of all women (60 to 70 percent) experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that is caused when plaque accumulates in the spaces between the gums and the teeth. The accumulation of bacteria can lead to the loss of bone around the teeth and can eventually lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.

Pregnancy Gingivitis Causes

Pregnant women are at increased risk for periodontal disease because the increased levels of progesterone hormone that come with pregnancy cause an increased response to plaque bacteria in the mouth.

Pregnancy Gingivitis Symptoms

If you’re pregnant, your dental professional needs to know about the first signs of gingivitis symptoms. Gingivitis is most common during months two to eight of pregnancy. Tell your dental professional when you are pregnant—he or she may recommend more frequent dental cleanings during the second trimester or early in the third trimester to help combat the effects of increased progesterone and help you avoid gingivitis. This extra plaque may cause swelling, bleeding, redness and/or tenderness in the gums. As a result, pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis even if they follow a consistent oral health care routine.

Pregnancy Gingivitis Treatments and Prevention

To control the amount of plaque in your mouth and to prevent gingivitis, follow these steps to reduce the bacteria that can lead to pregnancy gingivitis.

Steps to Prevent Pregnancy Gingivitis

  • Brush thoroughly at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night

  • Take your time; you should spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth

  • Be sure to use anti-plaque toothpaste to help protect your teeth from decay and gingivitis

  • Rinse thoroughly after brushing to get rid of bacteria in hard-to-reach places

  • Remember to floss daily to help avoid the build-up of bacteria

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet; be sure that you are getting enough calcium, vitamins D, C and A, phosphorous and protein.

  • Avoid sugary snacks

  • Continue to visit your dental professional regularly (once it is safe for the baby)

Improve Your Oral Care During Pregnancy

Maintaining the health of your teeth and gums is necessary to avoid the risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis and to get you on the path to better long-term oral health. By investing in a rechargeable electric toothbrush, you can begin to take the steps to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth and prevent the onset of gum disease.