You may have pregnancy gingivitis
In the dental office where I worked, Susan was one of our regular patients that came every 6 months for her check up and cleaning. She had good oral hygiene, brushed and flossed every day but about a month before her 6 month appointment she called saying her gums were very swollen and red. She thought she wasn’t doing a good job of taking care of her mouth. When she arrived for her appointment she told us she was 4 months pregnant! We told her she was not neglecting her teeth but probably had pregnancy gingivitis.
Pregnancy gingivitis is due to hormonal changes that can affect the health of your gums and teeth causing swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss. It often appears between the third and ninth month of pregnancy and usually disappears after childbirth. Pregnant women with periodontal disease (gum disease) may have a higher risk of delivering a pre-term or low birth weight baby. This is why it is very important to maintain good oral health care while pregnant
Maintain a healthy mouth during pregnancy by:
- Brushing at least two times a day using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and gums.
- Getting regular checkups and cleanings by your oral care professional because they are the best way to detect and prevent periodontal disease.
- Scheduling a check up in your first or second trimester to have your teeth cleaned and your oral health assessed.
It is also good for pregnant women to eat healthy snacks between meals so they can meet their daily nutritional needs. Try to avoid sweet snacks that are high in carbohydrates and sugar. Finally, note that morning sickness can leave stomach acids in your mouth, which may cause tooth decay. Rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash with fluoride (which is preferable) as soon as possible, if you vomit.
Remember prevention is the key. Practice good oral hygiene and get regular preventive dental care.
Share your experience:
For more tips and hints about pregnancy gingivitis or dental care, or to share your experience, there are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:
- Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call the HaltonParents line for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.
About this guest blogger:
Lynn Medland has worked with the Halton Region Health Department as a Dental Health Educator for the last twenty five years (1986). During this time, she has gained experience working with, and supporting those whose primary responsibility is to care for older adults and children. She provides in-services to groups of all sizes and backgrounds, one-on-one consultations and assists with the creation of teaching tools for educational purposes. Lynn also worked in a private dental office for approximately 10 years before joining the Halton Region Health Department and has been a Certified Dental Assistant since 1979 and is a Member of the Ontario Dental Assistants Association and the Canadian Dental Assistants Association.