Studies have shown that roughly 40% of women will develop gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) during their pregnancy because of varying hormonal levels. This type of gum disease is known as pregnancy gingivitis. During pregnancy an increased level of the hormone progesterone lowers your body’s ability to fight off certain gingivitis causing bacteria and exaggerates the amount of inflammation caused by the presence of these bacteria.
Symptoms of Pregnancy Gingivitis
Pregnancy gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen gums and usually appears between the second and eighth month of pregnancy. The gums will often bleed when you brush or floss and may feel more sensitive. Women who already have gum disease may see their condition worsen during pregnancy.
Prevention Pregnancy Gingivitis
The best way to prevent the occurrence of gingivitis during pregnancy is by developing and maintaining good oral hygiene habits. The daily removal of plaque by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day will reduce the amount of bacteria that causes gingivitis. Using an antimicrobial mouth rinse in addition to brushing and flossing will also help.
Should I See the Dentist If I’m Pregnant?
Yes! Routine dental visits and professional cleanings are even more important when you are pregnant. Not only will professional cleanings help prevent the formation of pregnancy gingivitis but gingivitis that doesn’t get better from brushing and flossing needs to be treated by a dentist. Multiple studies published in the Journal of the American Dental Association have suggested women with active gum disease are at higher risk of delivering premature babies with a low birth weight.
If you are pregnant and are noticing bleeding when you brush or floss, please contact Gallery Park Dental today!