Oral Health Tips to Avoid Pregnancy Gingivitis

September 18, 2018

pregnant womanObviously, the first thing on every woman’s mind when she finds out she’s pregnant is, “Better call the dentist!”

Just kidding, we know your teeth are probably pretty far from the top of your priorities. But hear us out.

Progesterone levels tend to spike when you’re pregnant, and that can make you more susceptible to gingivitis, loose teeth, and decay. We understand that, as an expectant mother, you have a lot on your plate, but your teeth are vulnerable during this time. That’s why we encourage pregnant patients keep up with good oral hygiene habits during pregnancy.

Signs That You Have Pregnancy Gingivitis

If you notice pain and bleeding when brushing and flossing your teeth, you could have gingivitis. Other common signs include:

  • receding gums
  • swollen gums
  • red gums
  • tender, puffy gums
  • bleeding gums
  • bad breath

The risk of gingivitis peaks during your third trimester, so it’s a good idea to schedule an extra cleaning during that time. This will allow your dentist to monitor your teeth more closely, and give you an extra cleaning to remove any plaque that has accumulated.

Also, contrary to popular belief, it’s safe for pregnant women to get X-rays at the dentist.

4 Tips for Keeping Smiles Healthy During Pregnancy

Practice Good Oral Hygiene. Shoot to brush twice a day and floss daily. Your gums may be more tender now, so it’s a good idea to switch to a soft bristle brush if you haven’t already. Flossing every day is also paramount. Floss is the only thing that can clean away plaque from your gumline. Since gingivitis attacks the gums, it’s important to keep them healthy.

a variety of healthy veggiesEat a Healthy Diet. A balanced diet will keep your pearly whites strong and healthy.
Make sure you’re eating a wide array of:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole Grains
  • Dairy Products

And remember, eating a healthy diet won’t just help your teeth and gums–it’s great for you and your baby.

Try Gargling with Sea Salt. If your gums feel tender and inflamed, gargling with sea salt dissolved in warm water can offer you some relief. Use 1 teaspoon of sea salt for every cup of water, gargle for 30 seconds or so, and spit the solution into the sink.

Visit Your Dentist. The best way to keep your teeth healthy is to keep in contact with your dentist. Don’t miss your scheduled cleaning, and you may even benefit from throwing in an extra one, around the third trimester, when the risk of gingivitis peaks.

It’s a good idea to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant as early as possible, even if you haven’t told your family and friends. Of course, your dentist and all office personnel will keep the  information confidential.