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Gum Disease During Pregnancy

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Women who are pregnant may be more susceptible to certain conditions, such as gum disease. Thus, as a woman focuses on her overall health throughout her pregnancy, it is also important for her to pay special attention to her oral health.

Gum disease during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight babies as well as preterm labor. However, the condition can be managed or avoided. Here is a bit of information about gum disease during pregnancy and how to reverse it:

Gum Disease During Pregnancy

Periodontal disease or gum disease occurs due to the presence of bacteria inside the oral cavity. Oral microbes excrete acid as a part of their digestive process. This acid can cause gum inflammation.

The initial stage of gum inflammation is called gingivitis and is common during pregnancy. Due to the frequency with which gingivitis accompanies pregnancy, gum inflammation during pregnancy is often referred to as pregnancy gingivitis.

Pregnant women are more apt to develop gingivitis because the hormones associated with the pregnancy can increase the amount of blood flowing through the gingival tissue. Due to the increased blood flow, the gums are more apt to become inflamed.

If pregnancy gingivitis is allowed to progress, it can develop into periodontitis, which is an advanced type of gum disease that may include an infection of the gums and pockets or spaces between the teeth and the gingival tissue. In some cases, the infection spreads to the underlying jawbone, causing tooth loss. In addition, bacteria associated with a gum infection may enter the bloodstream of the expecting woman and inflame other portions of her body.

Signs of Gum Problems During Pregnancy

There are multiple signs that gum problems are developing. Here are a few of them:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red or tender gums
  • Swollen gum tissues
  • Gum recession or the appearance of longer teeth
  • Halitosis
  • Wobbly teeth

How can gum inflammation during pregnancy be reversed?

If the signs of gum disease start to present during pregnancy, there are still things that can be done to reverse the condition. The most important measures to take include meticulous oral hygiene. The pregnant woman should brush at least twice daily and continue flossing at least one time per day. In addition, an antibacterial mouth rinse can help lower the number of bacteria within the mouth. Also, regular visits to the dentist should occur.

To learn more about gum health during pregnancy, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area, like Kyle J Frisinger DMD.