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What is Pregnancy Gingivitis?

Nychole Price
Nychole Price

Pregnancy gingivitis is characterized by red swollen gums that occur throughout pregnancy. In a majority of cases, the gums bleed when the teeth are brushed. Although it can't always be prevented, especially when pregnant with multiples, there are measures you can take to prevent the likelihood of pregnancy gingivitis occurring.

Many women brush their teeth less often when pregnant, due to nausea. This causes an increase in the development of plaque, resulting in pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnant women must still brush their teeth regularly, even if they have to switch to an all-natural baking soda toothpaste to prevent the onset of nausea. Brushing may be painful, due to gum sensitivity, so brush softly.

The stages of periodontal disease, including gingivitis.
The stages of periodontal disease, including gingivitis.

Make sure to floss every day to remove embedded food between the teeth. If food become lodged in the gums, pregnancy gingivitis may occur. Your gums are likely to bleed a lot when flossing, but it will not harm you in any way. It will actually strengthen your gums.

Pregnant woman may benefit from the use of an electric toothbrush. It is more thorough in cleaning your teeth, and is softer on your gums than a regular toothbrush. Some electric toothbrushes will actually time you, making sure you brush your teeth for the full two minutes that dentists recommend.

Dental cleanings can help prevent gingivitis.
Dental cleanings can help prevent gingivitis.

The chances of developing pregnancy gingivitis can also be reduced by rinsing with a plaque reducing mouthwash, such as Listerine®. It removed bacteria from the gum line and helps to rinse out food from between the teeth. Take extra care not to swallow the mouthwash.

Despite popular belief, you should continue your regular dental checkups and cleanings while pregnant. Be sure to inform your dentist that you are pregnant so he can take extra care with you. Avoid having x-rays done while you are pregnant. If you are uncomfortable reclining in the dental chair, inform him so he can make accommodations for you.

The chances of developing pregnancy gingivitis decrease when a plaque-reducing mouthwash is used.
The chances of developing pregnancy gingivitis decrease when a plaque-reducing mouthwash is used.

While pregnant, limit the amount of fruit drinks and sodas. The sugar will adhere to your teeth, increasing the likelihood that you will develop pregnancy gingivitis. Drink as much water as you can. It is good for rinsing your teeth and keeping your amniotic fluids at the proper level.

Avoid having large amounts of sweet treats while pregnant. Sometimes pregnancy cravings become intense and you may have to give in. If you do indulge, immediately floss and brush your teeth.

Gums that bleed after brushing might indicate gingivitis.
Gums that bleed after brushing might indicate gingivitis.

Taking care of your teeth during pregnancy is very important. If you develop an infection in your mouth, it can have a negative effect on the fetus. Bacteria in the mouth will drain into your digestive tract and can be transferred to your baby via the umbilical cord. Make taking care of your teeth as important as eating properly and taking your prenatal vitamins.

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