With all of the new hormonal changes taking their effect on your body, your oral health is probably low on your priority list after receiving a positive result on your pregnancy test.
As you are likely beginning to see with each day that passes, when you are pregnant, a lot of unexpected things can wreak havoc on your body. Pregnancy gingivitis, the onset of bacterial plaque attacking your gums, is one of those common afflictions that might affect you when pregnant.
Between 60% to 70% of women are diagnosed with pregnancy gingivitis while carrying their little ones. That’s why the experienced family dentists at Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry want to share the warning signs of pregnancy gingivitis and how to combat the condition so your focus can remain on the well-being of your baby rather than on your gums.
What is Pregnancy Gingivitis?
Pregnancy gingivitis is the same as regular gingivitis, the only difference is that it occurs when you are pregnant due to the increase in the progesterone hormone levels in your body. Gingivitis is a condition that happens when there is an accumulated buildup of bacterial plaque within the space between your teeth and gums.
While proper oral hygiene is always important to your health and well-being, if you are pregnant, it is even more so vital to get routine dental checkups from your Cary dentist at the first sign of pain or discomfort in your teeth and gums.
Will Pregnancy Gingivitis Affect My Baby’s Health?
Pregnancy gingivitis is not dangerous to your or your baby’s health. Nor are there any studies that indicate a connection between pregnancy gingivitis with birth defects, early-term delivery, miscarriage, or other pregnancy concerns.
However, when a woman has pregnancy gingivitis, it opens the possibility of developing more serious gum and mouth-related problems like periodontitis. What’s the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis? They are similar bacterial conditions, but peridontitis not only affects the gums but also the teeth, tongue, and entire mouth.
Expecting mothers who develop pregnancy periodontal disease do have the potential to pass some serious risks onto their unborn child if the condition is not treated quickly. Those risk factors have the potential to contribute toward low-birth weight, premature birth, or other issues.
How to Prevent Pregnancy Gingivitis
If you are pregnant and want to avoid developing pregnancy gingivitis, there are many steps you can take in preventative measures to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The best thing you can do for your oral health is to have a consistent and thorough routine of brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush that will not irritate your gums. In addition to your regular brushing, ensure you floss your teeth once a day to get all of the plaque build-up and small pieces of food stuck in your teeth out. Not removing those bits and pieces of food left behind can lead to the growth of gingivitis-causing bacteria.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet and avoiding foods and beverages packed with sugar or sugar substitutes is one way to maintain a healthy body and healthy mouth throughout your pregnancy. Focus on eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, as well as keeping your water intake high each day. Maintaining a healthy mindset while expecting is great for your oral health.
Visit Your Dentist
With all of the new pre-natal appointments filling up your calendar, it can be easy to tell yourself you’ll get back to the dentist after the baby is born. However, you should see your dentist every 6 months for regular appointments, even when pregnant. Keeping up with the schedule of your regular dental visits while pregnant is a great preventative measure against pregnancy gingivitis.
Signs You May Have Pregnancy Gingivitis
Pregnancy gingivitis usually develops between the second and eighth month of your pregnancy, but can happen any time throughout the course of your pregnancy. It is recommended to visit your Cary family dentist sometime in your second or third trimester, to ensure your gums are healthy from any bacterial buildup. If you do suspect that you may have developed pregnancy gingivitis, it’s important to know the symptoms.
Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis are:
- Gums that are swollen or puffy.
- Sensitive or tender gums.
- Gums that bleed when you floss or brush your teeth.
- Receding gums.
- An unusual redness to your gums.
- Bad breath.
Are there Treatments for Pregnancy Gingivitis?
If you are experiencing pain in your gums or mouth during your pregnancy, you may have a gum condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This condition is highly treatable and often goes away entirely once your baby is born.
If you suspect you have pregnancy gingivitis or some other gum disease, see your dentist. If normal preventative measures in oral hygiene have not worked to get rid of your gum affliction, your dentist might prescribe prescription strength mouthwash or an oral antibiotic.
Contact Your Holly Springs and Cary Dentist
Are you an expecting mother concerned about your oral health? If you are a pregnant woman and need to schedule a dentist appointment to prevent or treat a gum condition like pregnancy gingivitis, the professional dental team at Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry is here to help. To schedule an appointment, please contact our Holly Springs location at 919-600-6262 or our Cary location at 919-467-2203 or fill out the form below to get started.