Pregnancy Gingivitis Information

Pregnancy Gingivitis Information

Congratulations! You are about to become a mother, perhaps for the first time, second or third…However, your gums maybe bleeding a little or a lot?! What does this mean for your oral health and that of your baby? What about this tooth for a child rumour?

The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy increase your risk of gingivitis (reversible inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (irreversible attachment loss of the gums and supporting tissues). 50-70% of women will develop gingivitis during their pregnancy, which we call “pregnancy gingivitis.” A proportion of these women with untreated gingivitis may go on to develop the more serious periodontitis which can have a lasting impact on the health of both mother and baby, with the link between untreated periodontitis and pre-term or premature birth well documented.

If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, do not panic! Do insist on being seen by the hygienist at least every 3 months for prophylaxis (hard plaque removal) and closely follow their Oral Hygiene Advice. Removing the accumulation of bacterial plaque which leads to gum inflammation through correct tooth-brushing, flossing and/or mouthwash is essential to reverse gingivitis and prevent reoccurrence.

If you have been diagnosed with periodontitis or if pregnancy has worsened your existing gum disease, you need to ensure you step up your management program, including more regular care both at home and professionally with either the hygienist or periodontist.

The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry (AAP) 2014 provides the following guidelines for expectant mothers:

  • Oral Health Education by health care professionals
  • Oral Hygiene effective removal of bacterial plaque through brushing and flossing
  • Fluoride continued use of a fluoride toothpaste during pregnancy with the addition of a alcohol free fluoride mouthwash
  • Nutrition education about proper diet and unnecessary sugar intake
  • Treating existing tooth decay is safe during pregnancy and assists oral health by removing the bacteria associated with dental decay
  • Transmission of bacteria expectant mothers are discouraged from sharing food utensils to prevent transmission of bacteria associated with tooth decay
  • Use of xylitol gum (four times daily) as research suggests that this may decrease the rate of tooth decay in children

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, discuss any concerns with your Dental Co professional and ensure that you regular preventive care continues throughout…This will help to avoid any dental emergencies during this time!

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