You’ve just learned you’re pregnant – CONGRATULATIONS! But how does pregnancy affect your gums?
Pregnant women experience increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These increased levels of hormones change the way your gums react to oral bacteria, often causing a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy gingivitis exhibits as swollen, red and bleeding gums (especially when you brush your teeth).
Is my baby’s health at risk if I have pregnancy gingivitis?
Increased bacteria (which causes gingivitis) can enter the bloodstream through your bleeding gums. This can trigger the production of chemicals called “prostaglandins” which are believed to induce premature labor (which can result in pre-term, low birth weight babies).
Thus, good oral health care is vital during your pregnancy. Brushing and flossing several times daily, as well as dental cleanings and exams are recommended to avoid oral infections that can affect the fetus. Your dentist or hygienist may even recommend that you have more frequent cleanings to protect the health of your baby if you have been diagnosed with pregnancy gingivitis. Between 60-75% of pregnant women get pregnancy gingivitis. Read more »