What is pregnancy gingivitis
Studies indicate that anywhere from 40-80% of pregnant women will develop gingivitis, inflammation of the gums caused by built-up plaque. This is because hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy increase the risk of oral health issues. Higher levels of progesterone during pregnancy may encourage the growth of bacteria that cause gingivitis, or gum disease. More advanced gingivitis can cause periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss and increase the risk of premature pregnancy.
Gingivitis usually appears from months 2-8 of pregnancy. Symptoms include redder colouration of the gums, gums that bleed when brushing, and swollen gums. You may also notice bad breath, tender gums, and receding gums.
Tips To Prevent Pregnancy Gingivitis:
1. Inform your dentist when you become pregnant
Your dentist will assess your overall oral health, advise you on when to schedule your dental appointment(s) and give you more detailed information on pregnancy gingivitis and how to prevent it.
2. Do not skip dental appointments
Even with excellent oral health practice at home, there is no substitute for a professional cleaning. This gets to hard-to-reach places where plaque can accumulate.
3. Brush twice daily for a minimum of 2 minutes
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating sensitive gums and aim to brush in the morning and before bedtime. Use anti-plaque or anti-gingivitis toothpaste.
4. After brushing, rinse vigorously to remove bacteria
Bacteria can become trapped in hard-to-reach places, and the rinse can eliminate bacteria you miss while brushing. Use anti-plaque or anti-gingivitis toothpaste.
5. Floss daily
Floss at least once per day to remove plaque that cannot be reached by brushing alone or with rinses.
6. Reduce sugar intake
The bacteria that can cause gingivitis feeds on sugar. Reducing sugar consumption will help to avoid gingivitis.
It is essential to inform your dentist if you become pregnant and he/she will advise on the frequency of cleanings during the high-risk trimesters. If you do develop gingivitis during your pregnancy, your dentist should be informed at the first sign. Your dentist may prescribe treatment based on how advanced it is. Contact us to schedule your next dental visit today.