The causes of Pregnancy Gingivitis and how to prevent catching it
What is pregnancy gingivitis?
When pregnant, we worry about alimentation, exercise, or habits, but we tend to overlook one thing: our dental hygiene. It might be because we don't find it important or risky enough, but then we are sorry we didn't pay much attention to it as it can become a very annoying issue. This neglect is one of the many causes of dental problems, in this case, gingivitis during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Gingivitis is a very common periodontal disease that consists of the inflammation of gums in women during pregnancy. It appears from the first couple of months until the eighth-month in the majority of cases. It's not a dangerous condition that can lead to any extreme risks in your pregnancy, but it has to be treated as any disease our body goes through since it can become very uncomfortable. It's not fun at all to add one more pregnancy symptom to the list on top of everything that is already going on in our body, and you will want to prevent any other annoyance to make your pregnancy smoother and memorable.
Percentages are high when getting gingivitis during pregnancy, as more than 50% of pregnant women suffer from any kind of gingivitis, so you might want to be prepared for that if you are expecting or looking to expect in the future.
Pregnancy gingivitis appears for many reasons, both internal and external, and these are:
1. Blood circulation
Blood circulation increases by 30% to 50% during pregnancy to assure that the fetus receives all the necessary nutrients. Pregnancy gingivitis occurs mainly because as this happens, gums get inflamed and hurtful, and in that way, more susceptible and easier to injure.
Pregnancy hormones, which as we know are produced in a big quantity, alter the mouth's PH, causing more bacteria to be created there. These hormones also cause the gums and teeth to be more sensitive to bacteria hiding in plaque, and in this way create a cultivating broth for bacteria colonies.
3. Nasal congestion
Another cause can be nasal congestion; during pregnancy, due to the excess of hormones that inflamed nasal mucous membranes, many women experience nasal congestion. As it might cause breathing through the mouth, there will be more risk of bacteria growing there.
4. Nausea and vomits
Many women develop nausea and disgust towards toothpaste and mouthwash, and it may lead to a bad dental hygiene, and thus, bacteria growth that causes gingivitis. Also, vomits can trigger pregnancy gingivitis, as stomach acids from it can damage gum tissue and tooth enamel.
5. Bad dental hygiene
Of course, bad dental hygiene will always be a cause for any dental condition; not using floss and mouthwash, not brushing your teeth regularly, and not going to the dentist are the causes to many dental problems at any point of your life, but even more at pregnancy, as it combines with all the other causes.
Symptoms of Pregnancy Gingivitis
The symptoms you can look out for in pregnancy gingivitis are:
1. Gum color
Look out for any changes in your dental area; your gums will look red or purplish, inflamed, sensitive, and shiny if you got pregnancy gingivitis.
You will notice that when you wash your teeth or use dental floss your gums will bleed. Your gums will be sensitive to anything, and will probably bleed when touched, cleaned, biting hard things, etc.
The taste in your mouth might be unpleasant or different than normal. This might be very annoying as when you are pregnant unpleasant flavors can trigger nausea and vomit, so it will cause even more discomfort.
Sores might appear in your mouth or gums. They can be very painful and uncomfortable too.
You might notice tartar acummulation in your teeth. When this happens, the bacteria quantity is bigger, leading to a more advanced condition, periodontitis. Periodontitis destroys the tissue that support teeth (gums, periodontal ligaments, and the tooth sockets, which might even lead to the fall of teeth.
In these extreme cases, pregnant women with advanced gingivitis have 3 times more risk to have a premature childbirth than those who don't. This happens because tartar makes our inmune system to segregate sustances called interleukin and prostaglandins, which go through the hematoplacental barrier and produce birth before the 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Treatment methods for pregnancy gingivitis
Gingivitis during pregnancy can be very unpleasant, annoying and painful, but there are ways to lessen its effects in the case of its appearance and make it completely disappear. These are:
As usual, prevention is the best treatment method when it comes to any disease or condition.
Pregnancy gingivitis can be somewhat prevented since it's caused mainly by hormones that can't be stopped. Nonetheless, there are some ways that can decrease the chances of getting it or ease its symptoms in case of its appearance.
First, good dental hygiene will be key in preventing issues like this; brush your teeth after every meal, use dental floss and mouth wash, visit your dentist regularly, take vitamin c and even schedule dental cleanings here and there. 0,03% of women that were free of plaque and had good dental hygiene before pregnancy get gingivitis during pregnancy, which shows a very low chance if you take care of your teeth always.
Also, avoid heavily sugared food, and in the case of consumption, brush your teeth immediately after.
2. Dental cleanings
Pretty much all dental and gum conditions can be treated with dental cleanings. Head to your dental office and ask for a full teeth cleaning. It will make everything much better and it will keep your teeth healthy. But be sure to highlight to your dentist if you are pregnant.
3. Root planning
More advanced cases of gingivitis may require root planning, a special cleansing technique in which a dentist removes the plaque completely from your tooth's roots, which decreases the bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis. However, your dentist may advise you to not go ahead with this if you are pregnant and revisit after you've delivered.
Top 5 recommended mouthwashes to combat it
Mouthwashes are the most helpful tool when preventing gingivitis. Run to the store and grab one of these 5 which are the best in the market right now:
1. Listerine Naturals Antiseptic Mouth Wash
This mouthwash is recommended by many orthodontists as one of the best for gingivitis and other dental disease protector and controller. It's alcohol, dye, and sweetener free, and in that way perfect for the care of your mouth. It also has a fresh herbal mint flavor.
2. TheraBreath Healthy Gums Oral Rinse
First of all, this mouthwash was formulated by professional periodontists, so it can't get better than this. It contains FDA approved ingredients that have been proven to fight germs and bacteria succesfully. This one is also sugar and alcohol free, it won't damage or sting any part of your mouth, but it will still give you a clean breath since it has zinc compounds that fight halitosis.
3. CloSYS Original Unflavored Mouthwash for Sensitive Mouths
This mouthwash fights your plaque without fighting your mouth as it's alcohol, color, additive, and sulfate free. CloSYS mouthwash contains ADA-approved ingredients shown to prevent gum diseases without the unpleasant sensation from the majority of mouthwashes. It's formula is so mild that it can be even used to treat painful sores. The plus here, it's flavourless, so you won't have any problem on nausea caused by it's flavour.
4. Tom's of Maine Natural Wicked Fresh! Mouth Wash
This vegan mouthwash, which is also cruelty-free, contains zinc instead of fluoride. This way, this mouthwash has the best natural ingredients for the best mouth care and disease prevention.
5. Listerine Ultraclean Oral Care Antiseptic Mouthwash
Listerine is a very well known brand when it comes to oral care. They are experts in mouthwashes, as this one contains both ADA and FDA-approved ingredients that have proved to be successful in the fight with gingivitis on a budget.
With this all-around guide on pregnancy gingivitis, you can be sure that it won't be such a problem for you during your pregnancy. What you must remember is to always take care of your dental higyene with the steps we provided before; go to the dentist, brush your teeth, floss, use mouthwash and it will all be fine. You also have to remember that you should always take good care of your teeth, not only during pregnancy; this will always bring you benefits and save you from unwanted trouble in the future.
If you have detected any of the mentioned symptoms, don't let this issue escalate, run to the dentist office, and attack it as soon as it appears to prevent any future complications. Good luck with your teeth during your pregnancy!