Most pregnant women have a lot on their minds. Their upcoming child, the pain they may be experiencing in their back and feet, and their overall health may come to mind on a regular basis. However, the gums are often overlooked, even when they're having problems. If you're pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, then you should read about pregnancy gingivitis. The health of your child may depend on it.
What it Is
Pregnancy gingivitis is what it sounds like: a form of gingivitis that occurs during pregnancy. Shifting hormones can trigger pregnancy gingivitis regardless of your oral health before getting pregnant. The symptoms are primarily the same as standard gingivitis; swelling and tenderness of the gums are common, as well as bleeding from the gums. This can be uncomfortable and may put your teeth in danger, but it can do a lot more than that.
Damage it Can Do
Women who experience gum disease during pregnancy are at a higher risk of miscarriage than those who don't. There have been documented cases of women with gum disease delivering babies who are smaller and weaker than their counterparts born from women who don't have gum disease, but in extreme cases, it can also resulted in stillbirths. This is why it's so important to control pregnancy gingivitis for your own sake as well as your unborn child's.
While some women with stellar oral health will get pregnancy gingivitis regardless, you're at a much higher risk of getting it if you have had certain problems before getting pregnant. For example, baseline gingivitis before pregnancy will only get worse if you also develop pregnancy gingivitis. This can lead gingivitis to become periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease that can't be reversed at home.
In addition, habits like smoking can increase your risk for gum disease overall, even if you stop smoking before getting pregnant.
If you're worried about these risks, then the best thing you can do - even if you think your gums are fine - is to visit with a dentist. Get a general oral check-up and find out if you have gum disease. If you don't, then great! Keep doing what you're doing to keep your oral health in good shape. However, if you do have gum disease, then your dentist will work to reverse it and can provide additional advice for preventing it from coming back. You may want to maintain a regular schedule of appointments with your dentist while you are pregnant to keep track of the condition of your gums.
To learn more about about dental health, contact professional dental services in your area.