Pregnancy – it's a magical journey filled with dreams of tiny baby booties and late-night cravings. But, as any expecting mother can tell you, it's also a time of profound changes. One such change, often lurking in the shadows, is pregnancy gingivitis. Yes, you read that right. Pregnancy and gingivitis can go hand in hand, and we're here to demystify it for you.
So… what actually is it?
Pregnancy gingivitis, as it's fondly known, is like a pesky gate-crasher at your baby's welcome party. It's a mild form of gum disease driven by the same bacteria that hang around your teeth causing plaque buildup. During this rollercoaster ride of hormones and increased blood flow, these sneaky bacteria find the ideal breeding ground.
What are the Tell-tale Signs?
Pregnancy gingivitis has some pretty distinct symptoms:
- Red and Swollen Gums: Your gums might resemble the color palette of a ripe tomato.
- Bleeding Gums: Brushing or flossing turns into a scene from a vampire movie.
- Gentle Giants: Gums may feel tender and sore to the touch.
- Backwards March: Gum recession could make an appearance.
- Dragon Breath: Bad breath might become your newfound superpower.
If you're pregnant and these symptoms sound all too familiar, it's time to give your dentist (hello, that’s us) a call. Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition that can be tamed, but if ignored, it could morph into periodontitis – a nastier form of gum disease that can wreak havoc on your gums and the support system for your teeth.
So how do I prevent Pregnancy Gingivitis?
Fear not, the best way to avoid pregnancy gingivitis is by maintaining top-notch oral hygiene. This means:
- Brush those pearly whites! Brush your teeth twice a day for a full two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Don't forget to floss once a day – it's the not-so-secret weapon against plaque and bacteria lurking between your teeth.
- Embrace a healthy diet low in sugar and processed foods. This is good for bub’s health, too.
- Stay hydrated with plenty of water. Yep, have your Yeti drink bottle with you at all times.
- Avoid smoking like the plague.
- Regular Check-ups and cleans with your favourite dentist (hint again, that’s us)
OMG - I think I might have Pregnancy Gingivitis. What can be done?
If pregnancy gingivitis does manage to sneak past your defences, your dentist might prescribe a combination of treatments:
- Professional Cleaning: They’ll remove plaque and tartar build up.
- Medication: You might get your hands on antiseptic oral hygiene products to kick inflammation and infection to the curb.
- Home Care suggestions: Your dentist will coach you on how to improve your oral hygiene routine.
With proper care, pregnancy gingivitis usually surrenders once you have your bub. But remember, maintaining good oral hygiene is key to keeping it at bay.
Why is oral health so important during pregnancy? What does my baby have to do with my teeth?
Well, when you’re pregnant your body becomes a bit more susceptible to infection, and poor oral health can increase the chance of infections happening. In fact, poor oral health can increase your risk of developing some serious health problems such as:
- Premature Arrival
- Low Birth Weight
- Bacterial Infections
- Heart Health
By taking care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy, you're not just protecting yourself from these scary health problems – you're looking out for your little one too.
Don’t worry, we've Got Your Back
At DNTL Code, we've got your back through your pregnancy journey. We know it can be a wild ride, and we're here to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape.
If you're expecting and have even the slightest inkling that something's amiss with your teeth or gums, don't hesitate to reach out. We'd be delighted to schedule an appointment and work together on a treatment plan that's tailored just for you. After all, a healthy smile is a happy one, and that's something to cherish during this extraordinary chapter in your life.