When pregnant, women experience extreme hormonal fluctuations during a short amount of time. While nine months can feel too long to a mother-to-be, it is a relatively short time for the body to conceive, grow, and birth a baby. Did you know that the hormones that help develop the placenta, where the growing baby gets its nutrients in utero, can also affect your oral health?
Frequently, expectant mothers experience red, swollen, bleeding gums. This temporary condition is known as “pregnancy gingivitis.” Chronic irritation and bleeding causes one to be far more susceptible to infection. Since our hearts pump an average of 2,000 gallons of blood each day, it only takes about a minute for it to make a round trip from the heart. So, you can see how an infection inside the mouth could easily take a ride in the bloodstream and set up residency elsewhere. For pregnant women, that infection can affect the uterus, which is responsible for the development of the fetus.
While it usually goes away on its own after you have delivered your baby, “pregnancy gingivitis” is of concern because it has been associated with serious conditions, such as miscarriage, preeclampsia, stillbirth, preterm labor, and babies with low birthweights.
How can you know if you have developed this condition? Tell-tale signs of “pregnancy gingivitis” are:
- Red, puffy gums
- Bleeding in your mouth when you brush or floss
- Unusually bad breath
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain when you chew
Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the effects of “pregnancy gingivitis.” Successful at-home remedies include flossing frequently, swishing with warm water and sea salt, increasing your intake of Vitamin C, using an antimicrobial rinse, brushing immediately after vomiting from morning sickness, and reducing or even eliminating sugary foods from your diet.
At Allen Dentistry, we know that strong oral health is vital for expectant women. During your pregnancy, we will take special care to examine and clean the bacteria-causing plaque from your teeth to help eliminate swelling and discomfort associated with “pregnancy gingivitis.” Call today to set up an appointment for a safe and gentle exam and cleaning.
Posted on behalf of Allen Dentistry