When you're pregnant, there are a lot of changes that happen to your body. You might notice pain, fluctuating weight, or stiffness in your joints, feet, and back. Unfortunately, some changes might also occur to your gums. If you've been having problems with your oral health while pregnant or just want to know about this potential side effect, read on.
Gingivitis is a condition that's typically long-term if people don't seek out treatment for it. However, it's possible to develop gingivitis when you typically haven't had gum problems just because you're pregnant. This condition is called pregnancy gingivitis.
Pregnancy gingivitis is usually due to hormonal shifts that cause symptoms similar to standard bacterial gingivitis. The gums can also be more irritated by the presence of bacteria during this time, which just makes matters worse. The good news is that this type of gingivitis usually goes away once the pregnancy is complete, but that's a long time to be struggling with gum disease.
Danger to Child
Unfortunately, if your gum disease progresses to periodontitis, a later form of gingivitis, it can become a threat to your child's development. Studies have shown that women who are going through periodontitis during pregnancy are at risk of everything from delivering a low-weight child to losing the child completely due to a miscarriage. This happens because, at the periodontitis stage, the inflammation and bacterial invasion start to impact the entire body, including the baby.
What to Do
If you even suspect that you might have gum disease or you just want what's best for you and your child, you should seek out a dentist's help. Even though pregnancy gingivitis is primarily due to hormones, that doesn't mean that clearing away plaque, tartar, and bacteria can't help. In most cases, women will see improvement of their gum disease and they'll be able to prevent it from moving on to the more dangerous periodontitis stage. During the remainder of your pregnancy, it may be wise to regularly see your dentist for safety's sake.
Gingivitis isn't an extremely serious condition all on its own, but when it's combined with pregnancy and able to progress, it can become a big risk. Even in the earlier stages, you may be dealing with uncomfortable and bleeding gums, so don't ignore any symptoms that you have. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, visit a family dentistry to learn more.