During pregnancy, a woman’s body is subject to numerous changes both physical and on a hormonal level. Appetites change, sometimes every day. Your body aches and it’s not uncommon to feel ill. Maintaining your own personal health is a full-time task to ensure not only a healthy pregnancy, but a healthy you.

Oral health during a pregnancy is very important for both yourself and the baby. Gum disease is the leading oral infection, and it can be even more common in pregnant women. Studies have found that 60 to 75% of pregnant women have at least an early stage of gum disease, often called gingivitis. Untreated gum disease has been shown to increase the risks of other health issues and the same is said for pregnant women.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Gums

How Hormones During Pregnancy Affect Risk Of Gum Disease

The most common symptom of gum disease is inflammation, and the hormonal changes that a pregnancy causes can worsen this symptom. Often referred to as pregnancy gingivitis, hormonal changes can increase blood flow to the gums. If you are pregnant and have gum disease, this increased blood flow will likely cause the already inflamed gum tissue to be more sensitive and swollen.

As a pregnancy progresses towards the second trimester, the severity of untreated gum disease increases. If left unchecked, the increasing severity can bring on other health issues. These issues primarily include cardiovascular problems, but during a pregnancy it can bring on more risks.

The Link Between Gum Disease And Premature Birth

Although information is still being gathered and studies are being conducted, gum disease in pregnant women has been linked to premature birth. So far, research shows that pregnant women with gum disease are 7 times or more as likely to have a premature birth than pregnant women without gum disease. This is a significant increase in risk for a condition that can be easily treated.

Will My Gums Go Back To Normal After Pregnancy?

During a pregnancy, women go through a lot that they normally don’t experience outside of a pregnancy. A lot of health issues, both big and small, are more prevalent during this time. Gum disease is no different, but there is some good news: the inflammation in your gums should drastically reduce after your pregnancy if you’ve been practicing good oral health habits.

If you’ve had pretty good oral health throughout your pregnancy but the inflammation in your gums doesn’t go away, reach out to Pickett Family Dental. We can get you into our office and take a look to see what else might be going on and propose a plan of action for you.

How To Prevent Gum Disease During Pregnancy

During the first trimester of pregnancy, the biggest change for a woman is in the hormones. This drastic change in hormone levels causes morning sickness in more than 50% of women. While this can be just an extremely uncomfortable ill feeling, morning sickness can cause vomiting. It’s important to rinse the mouth after vomiting and follow that up with brushing the teeth.

As always, practicing good habits before, during, and after your pregnancy is your first line of defense against gum disease. Make sure you are brushing twice a day and flossing. When you brush, make sure to get a good visual look at the condition of your gums for anything out of the ordinary. Note that if you use any mouthwash, it is recommended to use something that is alcohol-free.

Your local Keller dentist is a great, readily available tool in your arsenal for good oral health during your pregnancy. You can get more than regular cleanings and assessments for your dental health. During and even after pregnancy, your dentist can look for abnormal signs of gum disease or other dental health issues to ensure that you get the best care. If you are pregnant, or thinking about trying to become pregnant, contact Pickett Family Dental for the best dental care and plans in Keller, Texas.