If you are pregnant, you probably already know that many of the rapid changes you are experiencing are a direct result of an increase in your hormone levels. These hormones are contributing to the development of your baby in utero, and may be affecting your oral health, too. Blood flow in your gums increases as estrogen and progesterone surge during pregnancy. Your gums become extra sensitive and susceptible to the toxins in bacteria that lives in dental plaque.
It’s not hard to know if you have developed “pregnancy gingivitis.” Your gums will be very red, swollen, and there is often blood when you floss or brush your teeth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is very important for you to strengthen and prioritize your oral care because it affects you and your baby. If left untreated, “pregnancy gingivitis” can develop into periodontitis, a bacterial infection that attacks the gums and network of bones that house and support your teeth. In addition, many researchers and experts link gum disease with other serious health problems, like diabetes and even cardiovascular disease.
Gum disease is especially concerning during pregnancy because it can cause:
- Preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy-specific high blood pressure
- Premature birth due to bacteria inflaming the placenta and provoking early labor
- Low birthweight babies
There are precautions you can take to minimize or eliminate “pregnancy gingivitis.” Here are some of the tried and true methods that alleviate the condition:
- Reduce sugary foods – troublesome bacteria love sugar
- Gargle with salt or baking soda
- Floss every day
- Brush after every meal and especially if you have vomited from morning sickness
You will be relieved to know that “pregnancy gingivitis” clears up on its own after you deliver your baby. Because of the concerns and risks detailed above, it is essential that you get a thorough dental exam and cleaning while you are pregnant. At Sycamore Hills Dentistry, we specialize in comprehensive dental care that is safe for you and your growing baby. Now is a great time for a check-up. Call today to schedule your visit to see us soon.
Posted on behalf of Sycamore Hills Dentistry