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Gingivitis & Pregnancy: What One Need to Know

Plenty of women find that their gums bleed easily during pregnancy. It’s one of the many surprises that one probably didn’t know about when they signed up to bring new life into the world. The dentist may give a diagnosis of pregnancy gingivitis when they complain about bleeding gums. Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, comes from the Latin word for gums, gingiva.

What causes gums to bleed during pregnancy?

Its potential causes during pregnancy include:

  • Hormones: Women can blame swollen and sensitive gums on the pregnancy hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that are streaming through blood and increasing blood flow to all of their mucous membranes.
  • Dietary changes: Now that one’s pregnant, they’re probably eating more carbs, sweets, and fast foods. A recent study shows that veering toward unhealthy food choices could happen during pregnancy, when women experience changes in taste.
  • Decreased saliva production: Pregnancy means more hormones, and for some people, this may mean having less saliva. Less saliva means that the carbs one eat hang around on the surfaces of ones teeth for longer, potentially leading to a buildup of plaque.
  • Changes in saliva: Not only does pregnant women have less saliva, but the saliva is more acidic than that of non-pregnant women. That means it’s not the efficient buffer it used to be. These acids can also raise ones risk of tooth erosion and decay.
  • Toothpaste aversion: Food preferences aren’t the only things changes one’ll notice. If you are pregnant and avoiding twice-daily brushing habit because one can’t stand the smell of another toothpaste, try changing your brand or using a milder flavor.
  • Morning sickness: Always make sure to rinse mouth after one throw up so that it washes away the acid from stomach. If someone wants to brush teeth, wait about 1 hour, as the acid may have softened the enamel on your teeth. Use plain water or be extra vigilant and rinse with 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of water.

When do bleeding gums primarily occur in pregnancy?

Pregnant women may notice that sometime during second trimester, the sensitivity and bleeding peak during the third trimester. If one had gum disease before they became pregnant, they’ll probably notice that it’s now aggravated.

Symptoms that accompany bleeding gums during pregnancy

As well as bleeding, pregnant women may notice other gum symptoms:

  • Swollen, sore gums: Along with bleeding gums, they may notice that their gums are swollen, sore, and red. It’s a pain but it’s also totally normal.
  • Pregnancy tumors: It may sound dangerous, but these are generally harmless, and 0.5–5 percent of pregnant women find them. Also called pyogenic granulomas, these red, raw-looking swellings happen most often between teeth. They’re probably related to the excess plaque we already talked about. The good news is that they’ll probably disappear when the baby makes their grand entry into the world.

Treatment for bleeding gums in pregnancy

Here are the most effective ways to take care of bleeding gums:

  • Good oral hygiene: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently (twice a day) so that it doesn’t irritate sensitive gums.
  • Floss: Don’t skip flossing, doing so removes the food that gets stuck between teeth.
  • Mouthwash: If pregnant women are not great at brushing and flossing, or they’re looking to take especially good care of teeth, they may want to rinse their mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash.
  • Limit the sugar: Excess sugar and good teeth don’t go together. Despite the cravings, pregnant women may want to limit their sugar intake and crunch on fruits and vegetables which are, by the way, great for gums too.
  • Take prenatal vitamin: Vitamin C is great for gum health. Calcium will keep teeth and bones strong. It’s typically found in prenatal vitamins, as well as in foods that are good for pregnancy, like dairy and fruit.
  • Visit dentist: A dental checkup is the best way to keep on top of what’s happening in oner mouth. If it’s not noticeable, remember to tell the dentist about being pregnant so that they can avoid X-rays and any work that will require anesthesia. Usually, the best time to visit a dentist is at the beginning of the second trimester.

Home remedies to treat bleeding gums

  • Keep gum inflammation at bay by using a daily salt rinse (1 teaspoon of salt added to 1 cup of warm water).
  • Brushing with a paste of baking soda and water may help remove more plaque. Less plaque means less inflammation. Baking soda can also help neutralize any harmful acids on teeth if one experience morning sickness.

Possible complications of bleeding gums during pregnancy

Bleeding gums during pregnancy are typically fairly mild. But it’s important to see dentist so one can prevent potential complications, such as periodontal disease. This is an infection of the gums and surrounding bone. And, yes, it can lead to loosening teeth and bone loss.

The majority of studies have shown that periodontal disease may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia. However, some studies do not show an association. Either way, one won’t lose out by taking good care of teeth.

-Courtesy by Healthline

January 31, 2020

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