Do you find that your gums feel sore, tender and swollen? Do they bleed during brushing? Do they look redder than normal? Do you find that your teeth seems more mobile?
If any of your answers to the questions above consist a “yes”, it is highly likely that you are experiencing pregnancy gingivitis (also known as gum inflammation or gum disease).
Dr Helena Lee, Dental Specialist in Periodontics, explains that the “increase in levels of hormones, estrogen and progesterone, make the gums more sensitive to the effects of bacterial plaque.” It becomes easier for plaque to build up on one’s teeth and hence, increasing the likelihood of pregnancy gingivitis.
It is found that about 60% to 70% of women experience it, especially from the second trimester. If one already has untreated gum disease, it would worsen during pregnancy and the symptoms explained above would be experienced to a larger extent.
What to do if I have pregnancy gingivitis?
Research has shown associations between gum disease during pregnancy and higher rates of miscarriage and premature deliveries. Hence, pregnancy gingivitis is not something that should be ignored.
Here are two steps to take to treat pregnancy gingivitis:
- Visit a dentist or Periodontist every six months for dental cleaning and examination – this helps to control the disease
- Practice good oral hygiene by gently brushing at least twice a day, for at least two minutes each, and floss at least once a day – these helps to prevent plaque from accumulating
[Related read: Why should we floss?]
It has been found that it is not only safe for pregnant women to undergo non-surgical dental treatments, it is also recommended so that both mother and baby is healthy!
If one has been visiting the dentist regularly and practicing good oral hygiene to keep the levels of plaque under control even before pregnancy, then no noticeable changes should occur. Remember, prevention is better than cure – so start taking care of your oral health now, well before you are pregnant!
|Think you have pregnancy gingivitis? Make an appointment with one of our Periodontists here for a thorough checkup.
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