General Denitstry

How Do You Treat Pregnancy Gingivitis? Everything You Should Know

If you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, you may have heard of “pregnancy gingivitis,” and you might be wondering if it’s real, if it happens to everyone, and what you should do if you experience this condition. In this guide from the office of James A Burden, DDS & Associates, we’ll discuss everything you should know about pregnancy gingivitis.

What Is Pregnancy Gingivitis? 

As the name implies, it’s gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) that’s caused by pregnancy. Pregnancy causes some major hormonal changes, such as a dramatic increase in progesterone. These changes make your gums more susceptible to developing plaque.

Plaque is a clear, colorless substance that’s composed of bacteria and biofilm. When it builds up on the gums, the bacteria can attack the gums. This usually leads to symptoms like:

  • Swollen and puffy gums
  • Gum tenderness and soreness
  • Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Red, dark, or discolored gums

Pregnancy gingivitis usually develops between the 2nd and 8th month of pregnancy, and its effects are the most pronounced during the third trimester. 

Why Do My Teeth Feel Loose During Pregnancy? Is It Because Of Gum Disease?

If your teeth feel slightly wiggly and loose during pregnancy and you have gingivitis, you may be worried that this is because gum disease has damaged your teeth and caused them to loosen. Don’t worry, though. This is rarely the case.

In addition to leading to a higher risk of gingivitis, hormonal changes during pregnancy can slightly loosen the bones and tissue keeping your teeth in place. This is normal. If your teeth move a little bit, this is nothing to worry about.

How Should I Treat Pregnancy Gingivitis? 

As long as you care for your teeth properly during pregnancy, you won’t have any long-term complications due to pregnancy gingivitis, and your gums will quickly recover after you give birth. So to keep your gums and teeth healthy, make sure to follow these steps during pregnancy: 

  • Brush and floss properly – Make sure to brush twice a day and to floss once a day to remove plaque and food particles, and decrease the risk of developing gingivitis.
  • Rinse with saltwater – This is particularly helpful if you have morning sickness. Gargling with saltwater can help remove stomach acid that can damage your teeth and gums, and helps soothe gum inflammation.
  • Use antibacterial mouthwash – Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can help remove bacteria and reduce plaque formation. You can rinse as often as you like, but mouthwash is particularly effective after you floss, since it helps remove loosened food particles and plaque.
  • See the dentist – You need to get a preventive checkup every six months, particularly if you’re pregnant. A dentist like Dr. James Burden can ensure that pregnancy gingivitis, if present, is not out of control, and provide you with tips and instructions on proper oral care during pregnancy. 

Schedule A Consultation With Dr. James Burden Today 

If you’re pregnant and you want to make sure you take great care of your teeth and gums, it’s important to see an experienced dentist in Williamsburg. So don’t wait. Contact the office of James A. Burden DDS & Associates online for an appointment, or call us at (757) 229-1224 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Burden today.