It is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy. Good oral health translates to good overall health. There have been proven scientific connections between poor oral health (such as gum disease) and low birth weight or premature babies. During your pregnancy, your gum tissues may be more susceptible to inflammation due to plaque accumulation, and therefore proper brushing and flossing are necessary.
What Causes Pregnancy Gingivitis?
Pregnancy gingivitis is the presence of inflammation in the gums due to pregnancy. This occurs due to the changes in hormone levels in the body, such as estrogen and progesterone. There is an increased response to the accumulation of plaque. The body’s immune system sends more blood to the gums, which can cause swelling, irritation and bleeding. Also, the change in hormones can make it easier for certain types of bacteria to grow.
Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy Gingivitis
- Pain or tenderness of the gum tissues
- Swollen, puffy gums
- Gums that are most susceptible to bleeding when brushing and flossing
- Pregnancy tumours (rare) that appear as bulbous swollen areas of gum tissue localized between teeth
How To Manage Pregnancy Gingivitis
It may not be possible to eradicate all pregnancy gingivitis symptoms, but it is possible to decrease them by keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Make sure to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day and use an antimicrobial mouthwash with an ADA or CDA approval. Also, make sure to visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dental hygienist may recommend more frequent dental cleanings during pregnancy if you exhibit signs of pregnancy gingivitis. Lastly, do not stress. Pregnancy gingivitis is common and typically goes away on its own if adequately cared for.
If you think you have pregnancy gingivitis or have any questions about how to manage its symptoms, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.