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Pregnancy and Gum Disease

Family DentistryGum Disease

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Pregnancy changes many hormones in the body which can affect the health of both your teeth and gums. These hormones make some women more at risk of tooth decay and gum problems including Gingivitis. 

Some women get swollen or sore gums that may also bleed during their pregnancy. Although bleeding gums could also be a direct cause of a build-up of plaque on the teeth, pregnancy hormones could also trigger your gums to become inflamed, swollen and even bleed. This is also called pregnancy gum disease. No matter what the cause may be, if you see any of the following symptoms, book an appointment with your dentist to find out what treatment options are available to you.

It is important to take good care of your teeth and gums, especially while you are pregnant.

What is Pregnancy Gingivitis?

If you have brushed your teeth and started to notice some swelling, pain or a lot of blood while brushing or flossing, you may have gingivitis and need to book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible! 

As your progesterone hormone levels are high during pregnancy, you are more susceptible to developing the bacterial plaque that can attack your gums and progress into gum disease.

Here are some symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Inflamed, tender gums
  • Swollen, red gums
  • Bad breath 
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums

Pregnancy gingivitis usually develops within the second and eighth month of pregnancy. It most commonly reaches it peak during the third trimester. It is important to note that because of this, pregnant women also face an increased risk of tooth decay.

Depending on your individual circumstance, your dentist ay recommend that you schedule your cleaning appointments according to your needs during your pregnancy, mostly during your second or third trimester. 

How to Prevent Pregnancy Gum Disease

Your gum disease / gingivitis may be triggered by your pregnancy hormones that you may not be able to control. However, there are some things you can control and do to protect your teeth and gums to the best of your ability during your pregnancy. 

See Your Dentist

It is important to tell your dentist (and doctor) as soon as you know you are pregnant. This allows your dentist to professionally clean your teeth and carefully examine your gums so any existing oral health problems can be treated as soon as possible.

Following this dentist appointment it is important to continue with routine care during your pregnancy.

Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet

Healthy Food

We understand pregnancy cravings may not include a lot of fruits and veggies and you may not feel the best during your first trimester but, try to ensure that you are eating a balanced diet with rich, whole foods. 

A great way to do this is to substitute certain foods such as water over soft, sugary drinks. If you fancy something sweet, choose fruits over sugary sweets.

You should stay away from all foods that are high in sugar like sweets, chocolates and cakes. Over time, all those sugars and starches can attack your teeth and gums. These tips are great for your oral health but also great tips to keep your body and baby to be as healthy as possible.

Practice Great Oral Hygiene

You should be brushing your teeth twice a day and don’t forget the floss! Many people tend to forget about flossing but it is just as important as brushing and you need to incorporate it into your dental routine.

Are you pregnant and feeling uncomfortable? Even brushing your teeth may start to feel like such a chore these days. Make sure you use a soft toothbrush that will not irritate your gums and a toothpaste that contains fluoride for an extra barrier of protection for your teeth.

  • If morning sickness is preventing you from brushing your teeth, you can change to a bland-tasting toothpaste during your pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands that will be perfect for you. 

Taking the extra time to complete your oral care routine is imperative to lessen the damage that the change in your hormones causes to your oral health. Persisting with good and consistent oral habits can also help reverse some damage to your teeth and gums.

Salt Water Rinse

If you start to notice your gums becoming inflamed, red, swollen or you notice some bleeding, add a salt water rinse to your routine.

The salt will help to reduce any inflammation from Gingivitis (gum disease) and help to heal your inflamed and sore gums. To do this at home, dilute 1 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of warm water. Swish this mixture like normal mouthwash around your mouth a few times. Be sure to spit the rinse out when you’re done, do not swallow it

The Good News

After you deliver your baby, your gums should return back to normal relatively quickly. It is important to keep up with your dental health routine during you pregnancy. If you continue to experience any pain and discomfort, let your dentist know and they will treat you accordingly. 

Book an Appointment Today

Book an appointment with our dental hygienists now to find out more about how to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Find out more about our dental hygiene services.

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Contact us today to find out more about booking an appointment in Esher, Surrey or Wandsworth, South West London.