Bleeding gums are a hallmark sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. Inflammation in your gums can cause them to appear red and puffy. Your gums may bleed when you brush or floss your teeth the way you normally do. You may have healthy gums and still develop gingivitis during pregnancy. Pregnancy gingivitis can last for the duration of your pregnancy and often goes away once the pregnancy is over.
Progesterone and bleeding gums
During pregnancy, the body has more of the hormone progesterone circulating. This hormone is important for pregnancy but can have some unwelcome side effects when it comes to oral health. Progesterone can prompt an increase in blood flow in the pregnant body. This is great for the developing baby but can cause inflammation and bleeding gums in the mouth. An increase in progesterone can also favor the growth of the bad bacteria that cause infection and inflammation in the gums.
Should people manage their pregnancy gingivitis?
Many people think that pregnancy gingivitis is no big deal. Pregnancy is not a permanent condition. When it is over, the hormone levels go back to normal. But dentists say that pregnancy gingivitis could cause issues for some people. The bleeding, sore gums are a nuisance and are uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, bleeding gums are not the only problem resulting from pregnancy gingivitis. Patients with untreated gingivitis are more likely to have pre-term labor than patients who are treating pregnancy gingivitis. In some instances, pregnancy gingivitis can lead to loose teeth. Some people may even need surgery.
An ounce of prevention
Pregnancy gingivitis does not have to be inevitable. There are many ways people can lessen the effects of pregnancy gingivitis. Healthy habits will not only promote good oral health but will also promote good overall health. There are many ways people can be proactive with pregnancy gingivitis.
The foods people eat impact oral health. Starchy, processed, and sugary foods can promote the growth of bad bacteria. This bacterial growth causes bad breath and inflammation, which leads to bleeding gums. Avoiding acidic drinks can also help prevent pregnancy gingivitis. Acidic drinks damage the enamel of teeth, which makes it easier for bacteria to cause tooth decay.
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Maintain good oral care to ward off bleeding gums
Oral care is different during pregnancy. A dentist can help a patient evaluate their oral care habits. The dentist can show the proper way to brush with a toothbrush and how to effectively use floss. A professional teeth cleaning during pregnancy can help to remove any buildup that can cause inflammation.
Pregnancy is a great time to take a good look at your oral care routine to see if it is complete and effective. Using the right toothbrush and good brushing techniques can promote healthier gums, and you should also use floss. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day is good not only during pregnancy but beyond. Caring for your teeth and taking care of your bleeding gums is better for your health and your baby’s too.
Request an appointment or call Peoria Family Dentistry at 623-552-4665 for an appointment in our Peoria office.