Pregnancy & Gum Disease
During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many hormonal changes which can increase the likelihood of developing oral health problems. pregnancy gum disease or gingivitis, is the most common oral health concern for pregnant women and it affects approximately 40% of women. In some cases, pregnancy gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. For this reason, it is important to understand the connection between pregnancy and gum disease and actively look after your oral health while pregnant.
How does pregnancy affect oral health?
During pregnancy, women experience an increase in the level of the progesterone hormone in their body. This provides a favourable environment for certain gingivitis-causing bacteria to grow. It can also make gum tissue more sensitive to plaque and the body, more reactive to the toxins or poisons that result from plaque build-up.
What are the symptoms of pregnancy gum disease?
The symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis usually appear between the second and eight month and can include:
- swollen or inflamed gums
- tender gums which can bleed, especially when brushed or flossed
- gums that are bright red in colour
In some cases, if left untreated, the symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis can lead to periodontitis where pockets form around the teeth which can become infected. As pregnancy progresses, the pocket can deepen and cause separation of the teeth from the gums. Untreated, this separation can eventually lead to the loss of the affected teeth.
How to prevent the onset of gingivitis while pregnant
- consult your dentist prior to becoming pregnant to ensure that your mouth is healthy and you have a plan in place to manage any pre-existing oral health problems
- brush your teeth twice per day
- floss your teeth once per day
- consider using an antimicrobial mouth rinse
- see your dental hygienist for professional teeth cleaning, don’t skip your hygiene appointment
- raise any concerns you have about changes to your teeth and gums during pregnancy with your dentist
Getting help to manage your gums
It is a known fact that the risk of experiencing gum disease is increased during pregnancy. The hormonal changes that occur affect how the body responses to plaque.
Although pregnancy gingivitis generally subsides shortly after birth, it should be monitored by your dentist during and after pregnancy, in order to prevent the development of Periodontitis.
Call our friendly reception staff today to make an appointment.