Pregnant women often experience swollen, sore, and bleeding gums as a result of hormonal changes.
Pregnancy is an amazing experience, but there is no denying that it can have an impact on one’s whole body. In fact, pregnancy can even affect one’s oral health. Research has linked the hormonal changes with which it is associated with an increased risk of gum disease. For this reason, it is very important that you take good care of your teeth and gums when you are expecting a baby. Here’s what you can do to make sure that your smile stays healthy throughout your pregnancy…
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque and causes infection and inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, gum disease can cause some serious damage to the soft gum tissue, as well as the underlying bone that holds your teeth in place. In its early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis — if gingivitis is identified and addressed quickly, its effects can often be reversed with improved oral hygiene and professional dental cleaning.
In its more advanced stages, gum disease is known as periodontitis. This condition can cause serious problems, including tooth loss. It has also been linked with other health issues, including diabetes and heart disease.
How are gum disease and pregnancy linked?
According to research, some of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can change the oral microbiome and contribute to the development of gum disease. Many of the symptoms of gum disease may also worsen during pregnancy — these include bleeding gums and the formation of pockets between the gums and teeth.
If you are expecting a baby and notice any symptoms of gum disease, such as swollen, bleeding, or tender gums, it is advisable that you consult with your dentist as soon as possible. They will examine your teeth and gums and let you know what can be done to address the issue.
How can gum disease affect your pregnancy?
Some studies suggest that gum disease can affect the outcomes of pregnancy. It may, for example, lead to preterm labour, as well as a low birth weight for your baby.
For these reasons, it is very important that you maintain optimal gum health throughout the course of your pregnancy. The best thing you can do is to take care of your teeth and gums by practising proper oral hygiene habits every day. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily in order to get rid of plaque and keep gum disease at bay.
You should also continue to see your dentist for regular check-ups while you are pregnant. Let your dentist know that you are expecting a baby and raise any concerns that you have at any stage in your journey. Your dentist will be able to advise you on ways to improve your oral hygiene and overall health.
Fortunately, once you have delivered your baby, your gums are likely to return to normal fairly quickly. If, however, you continue to notice the signs of gingivitis, be sure to see your dentist as soon as possible.
How can we help?
At G Dental, we treat patients in all stages of life. If you are pregnant and have a concern related to your oral health, we encourage you to come in and see us. We offer a comprehensive range of dentistry services, including gum disease treatment. If you have noticed any of the possible signs of gum disease, we will perform a thorough oral examination and check for inflammation of the gums. If necessary, we may recommend a deep cleaning to treat the issue. To find out more about how we diagnose and treat gum disease at G Dental, please have a look here.