Have you heard that pregnancy poses an additional risk to a woman’s teeth?
This is true – it’s a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis, and many women who become pregnant suffer from its effects. Caused by the changes in hormones during pregnancy, pregnancy gingivitis results due to the clear link of gum health to the health of the rest of the body. Discover how the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s smile and how these effects can be minimized.
Understanding Pregnancy Gingivitis
With all of the chaos women tend to experience during pregnancy, it’s not a huge surprise that those affects would make an impact on other aspects of their health. Since the health of the gums is closely linked to the health of the rest of the body, the chemical changes that happen during pregnancy can actually increase the production of bacteria in the mouth. More bacteria leads to more plaque, cavities, and even gum disease, as the name implies.
What Exactly is Gingivitis?
We’ve all grown up seeing ads that make gingivitis seem like the last thing anyone would want, but what is gingivitis really? Essentially, gingivitis is the mildest of the three forms of gum disease, and it mostly serves as a warning sign that major problems will follow if it’s not treated. Major characteristics of the most severe form of gum disease, advanced periodontitis, include bleeding gums and tooth loss, so it’s vital to treat gingivitis before it gets worse.
What Changes Can You Expect While Pregnant?
If you’re among the 60-70% of women who will get pregnancy gingivitis, swollen gums will be among the most obvious symptoms you notice. This is because the hormonal changes cause an increase in blood flow to the gums, leading to swelling, inflammation, and a rise in bacteria. With this increase in bacteria comes greater susceptibility towards developing cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.
How to Manage the Damage of Pregnancy Gingivitis
Since pregnancy gingivitis is caused by hormones, managing it will mostly be a matter of mitigating the symptoms you experience while pregnant. Try the following tips to minimize the damage that pregnancy gingivitis does to your oral health:
- Continue brushing, flossing, and rinsing each day
- Hydrating with extra water can help flush the bacteria
- Chewing xylitol gum can help fight the bacteria in your mouth
- Drinking water with fluoride is excellent for your teeth
- Seek help from your dentist when you notice gingivitis
Our Nashville Dental Team Can Treat Your Gingivitis Today
No matter how gingivitis has accumulated in your mouth, it’s easily treatable with a scaling and root planing procedure. During your appointment at Dentistry of Nashville, we want to know the details of how you developed your condition because it gives us a better advantage for treatment. Feel free to share with us any significant concerns you have about your dental condition and we’ll let you know what your best options are – contact Dentistry of Nashville today for your next exam!