Pregnancy and Gingivitis: Your body’s response while pregnant and the development of gingivitis

Banner-imageThroughout the developing stages of pregnancy, your body will show signs of some hormonal changes.

During this time, many women experience changes to their dental health, often developing inflammation of the gums and gingivitis.

Maintaining your oral health throughout your pregnancy

Regular check-ups with the team at New England Dental Group in Armidale can help you feel more comfortable while you are pregnant by preventing gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Maintaining a good standard of oral hygiene prior to falling pregnant and throughout the pregnancy will decrease the chances of such issues occurring. It is important that you:

  • Brush your teeth twice per day
  • Floss your teeth once per day
  • Maintain regular check-ups with your dentist

It is important that you do not skip your regular check-up with the team at New England Dental Group just because you are pregnant.

What is gingivitis?

Normal consumption of food and drinks causes the bacteria naturally occurring in your mouth to interact with the starches and sugars from what you’ve eaten. This thin film of bacteria on the teeth and around the gums is known as plaque. Typically speaking, unless removed with regular brushing and flossing, this plaque and its hardened form (known as tartar) can lead to the inflammation of your gums and a form of gum disease called gingivitis. Gingivitis can lead to tooth decay and in some cases even a loss of teeth if treatments are ignored.

Pregnancy and the causes of gingivitis

Throughout the stages of pregnancy, it is quite common for many of our patients to experience some signs of dental disease. During pregnancy, a woman’s hormone levels are constantly changing. This can cause a higher risk of plaque developing around the gums and mouth which leads to gingivitis. Gingivitis may cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums and is most noticeable in the second month of your pregnancy and may continue to develop up until your eighth month of pregnancy.

An increase of blood flow around the body during pregnancy can also increase the chances of developing gingivitis. Other factors such as cravings, morning sickness, and neglect can cause your gums to bleed. If you do notice gum inflammation or bleeding gums, visit your dentist for a check-up so we can gently assess your oral health and equip you with the tools to recover.

Dental disease can affect your baby’s development

In recent and ongoing studies, researchers are finding that there is a link between gingivitis and the occurrence of premature births. Premature births are commonly associated with causing a wide range of health issues such as attention deficit hyperactive disorders (ADHD), cerebral palsy and anxiety. The link between gingivitis and premature births suggests that the plaque built up on gums travels through the blood stream and into the uterus producing chemicals called prostaglandins. There is evidence to suggest this process can impact whether or not a pregnancy lasts through to full term.

Booking your next consultation

If you have any concerns about your dental health and would like to find out more information on how dental diseases can affect your pregnancy, call us to book a consultation on (02) 6771 2283 or click here. You can also read more about this topic by visiting the Better Health Channel page.

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