We hear the word “gingivitis” all the time, but what does it actually mean? Gingivitis is an advanced inflammation of the gums, whereas periodontitis is actual gum disease. Pregnancy gingivitis, on the other hand, is something specific to pregnant women.
Many pregnant women experience swelling and rapid blood flow throughout their bodies. This happens because of heightened progesterone hormone levels. When this occurs in the mouth, the condition can often lead to bloody and swollen gums, a common symptom of gingivitis. Along with the other aches and pains of pregnancy, gingivitis causes discomfort and irritation.
Not every pregnant woman will develop gingivitis during her pregnancy. Yet, about 40% of pregnant women experience some form of pregnancy gingivitis. Symptoms often include:
- Bleeding and swollen gums
- Excess saliva
- Increased sensitivity
- Receding gums
All these symptoms are undesirable. But the original dental condition of the patient before pregnancy will determine quite a lot. If not monitored, pregnancy gingivitis can quickly worsen. Still, regular quality oral care will combat gingivitis and other common pregnancy dental issues.
Pregnancy Dental Tumors
Some women find that in addition to gingivitis, they experience swollen tissue lesions. Pre-existing plaque and bacteria buildup cause these tumors, as well as food irritants. Your dentist may remove the tumor, although half of removed tumors reemerge during the pregnancy.
Another line of attack your Edmonton dentist might try is to deal with the overlying problem or cause of the tumor. This could involve removing plaque, and taking extra care to keep the area clean and free of bacteria.
Pregnancy tumors are a form of inflamed gum tissue most common during the second trimester. This red lump may bleed, crust over, and cause difficulty eating and speaking. However, once you deliver the baby and your hormones readjust, these tumors will disappear.
What Can I Do?
As with any dental problem, patients should take responsibility for the well-being of their own mouth. Although you cannot control your hormones, you can give your mouth the best care possible. Here are some steps to follow:
- Ideally, you’ll already have a quality oral care routine in place before you even become pregnant. Make regular trips to your dentist and pay attention to potential weaknesses your mouth might have. It’s also always a good idea to brush and floss regularly.
- Let your dentist know you’re pregnant so you can work together to keep your mouth healthy. This might mean scheduling extra cleanings and checkups to keep your maintain the best oral hygiene.
- Brush at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night. If you want, you can even bring a travel toothbrush with you for after lunch brushing. Take your time; brush for the whole two minutes and rinse well to get optimal cleaning. If you feel like you need a better toothbrush, don’t hesitate to invest in something more reliable.
- Flossing is one of the key tools to keep gums healthy and free of decay. It works best if you do it regularly, so start now. Make flossing an automatic part of your oral care routine to keep your gums used to it.
- Make sure you don’t skip your dentist appointments and cleanings. More than ever, you need a dentist to make sure your oral hygiene routine is top notch. Consider asking your dentist if it might help to use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to keep bacteria under control.
If you are pregnant and are experiencing bleeding gums contact Azarko Dental today. Our Edmonton office is open to emergency dental services for your convenience.
Taking the time to complete these steps will help keep your mouth healthy and free of swollen gums. Not only that, but this type of routine will also ensure a healthy and beautiful smile to go with that pregnancy glow.
Visiting Your Dentist: Help Us Help You
If your own efforts to deter pregnancy gingivitis seem to have failed, don’t worry. Gingivitis is a typical problem that dentists deal with every day, so they know the best ways to treat it. Keeping your dentist appointments may seem like a lot of work, but this is essential to your oral care and comfort.
If you don’t regularly visit the dentist, take this opportunity to do so now. Your pregnancy should be a happy time of preparation, and visiting the dentist will help make that happen. Develop the habit of consistent dentist appointments now so that you can do the same with your future children.
If you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, step up your oral care routine as soon as possible. Make an appointment today with your dentist in Edmonton at Azarko Dental today.