While gingivitis can occur at any point during pregnancy health experts have pointed out that it usually starts at the early stages of pregnancy. There are cases where it occurs as late as the 8th month of pregnancy.
One of the main reasons why many women experience gingivitis during pregnancy is that they don’t follow a good oral care routine. With so much to worry about during pregnancy, it is easy to skip flossing or brushing every now and then.
According to dentists, pregnant women have a higher risk of developing some oral conditions. This is because of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
This article is going to shed light on the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of pregnancy gingivitis.
What exactly is pregnancy gingivitis
If you experience mild to severe bleeding and pain when you brush your teeth, chances are you have gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by the accumulation of plaque in the gum area. Pregnant women are susceptible to this condition because of the increase in their progesterone hormone. While this hormone is critical for the growth and development of the baby, it is worth noting that it can also cause some changes in the body. Swelling of the gum region is one of those changes
According to health experts, gum swelling may also be the following.
- An increase in blood flow in the gum region
- A decrease in the body’s ability to fight plaque bacteria
Symptoms of Gingivtis
Below are some of the symptoms of this condition
- Shiny gum surface
- Mild to severe bleeding when brushing and flossing
- Bad breath even after brushing
Effective ways to prevent pregnancy gingivitis
While you may not be able to control your hormones during pregnancy, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of gingivitis. Below are some of them.
Your food choices can affect your oral health, especially during pregnancy. It is wise that you follow a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, veggies, dairy products, and whole grains. Stay away or reduce your intake of sodas, juice, cakes, candy, dried fruits, and cookies. The sugars in them can affect your teeth.
Following a good oral care routine
Make it a habit to brush your teeth twice daily with an electric or bamboo toothbrush. Of course, you are free to use any toothpaste you like, but it is important that you use one that contains fluoride. You should make sure you floss once daily. Flossing can help remove food remains and plaque between your teeth.
If your gum is sensitive, you should opt for a soft toothbrush so that you don’t irritate them.
You should gargle a mixture of salt and water if you notice a little swelling in the gum or if it starts bleeding.
Gargling a salt and water solution will help reduce the swelling and heal the affected area.
Here is how to prepare the solution
- Add a teaspoon of salt into of water (warm)
- Stir with a spoon
- Swish the mixture and spit it out. Make sure you don’t swallow it.
Visit your dentist
Visiting your dentist regularly is a great way to prevent most oral conditions. Don’t miss your dentist appointment even when you are pregnant. Your dentist can help address small issues before they deteriorate.
Treating Pregnancy Gingivitis
If you have a mild case of gingivitis during pregnancy, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics that can kill the bacteria causing the infection. They may also recommend a certain mouthwash that can treat the condition.
Be sure to inform your dentist if you have allergies to certain medications. You should also provide a list of the drugs, supplements, and vitamins that you are taking.
Your dentist may recommend a surgical procedure if the gingivitis is severe.
Pregnancy gingivitis is a preventable condition. Following a good oral care routine, eating healthy, and visiting your dentist regularly will go a long way to ensure that you don’t develop it during pregnancy. If you happen to notice some of its symptoms, you should gargle salt water. If that doesn’t work you should visit your dentist.