Pregnancy is a highly demanding time in one’s life. Between doctor’s visits, vitamins, and prenatal care, it can be difficult to remember the specific dental hygiene required when pregnant. The link between healthy gums and pregnancy has been well established.
Gingivitis and Pregnancy
Pregnancy will change certain hormones in the body. Because of this fluctuation, many emotional and physical changes can occur. Because progesterone hormone levels run high during this period of life, bacterial plaque is more likely to form in the mouth. This type of bacteria can cause a correlation between gingivitis and pregnancy.
What Is Gingivitis and How Do I Prevent It From Happening to Me?
Common signs of gingivitis include swollen tender gums. Gums can appear puffy or red. If blood is found while brushing the teeth, gums are most likely the culprit. The inflammation caused by gingivitis is a type of periodontal disease that, if left untreated, can lead to loss of teeth.
Flossing is commonly advised to prevent gingivitis from occurring. By reaching difficult spots between the teeth, food and other bacteria can be effectively removed from the mouth. Flossing should be done at least once a day if not twice. Antiseptic mouthwash is also recommended. This is especially helpful for those who need more than just floss to access hard-to-reach areas between teeth.
Easy ways to combat gingivitis include proper diet and regular rinsing. Eating healthy foods like fruits, whole grains, and dairy products as well as gargling salt water can greatly improve oral health. By avoiding sugary food, bacteria are less likely to grow between teeth. With a healthy diet and preventative care, your teeth and gums will fare much better than those who rely on processed food and mouthwash alone. With mild cases of gingivitis, it is possible not to recognize the disease. This is one reason why routine dental cleanings are so important.
Pregnant women are at an increased risk for gingivitis because of hormonal changes. Approximately 60-70% of women experience oral discomfort or unhealthy gums during pregnancy. Due to the increased blood flow, pregnancy can negatively impact oral health if proper care isn’t used.
Progesterone can encourage bacteria to grow in the mouth. Not only does this make gingivitis much more common during hormonal changes, but it can also create sensitive gum tissue. Brushing teeth can create a painful sensation during this time. To keep up with daily oral hygiene, a softer toothbrush with gentle bristles may be recommended for those experiencing sensitive gums or bleeding. While mouthwash should not be used by itself to clean teeth and gums, it can make a great addition to a daily care routine.
Contact Us Today
Oral health care is especially important during pregnancy. In addition to at-home care, a dentist can provide exams, cleanings, and fluoride treatment for preventative care. Professional dentistry can help treat and maintain proper dental health so that teeth are strong and built to last. For professional dental care with North View Dental, schedule an appointment that best works for you.