Gingivitis During Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

A future mother must take care of her well-being from head to toe during pregnancy. Oral health is one of the most important areas to consider.
Gingivitis During Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Last update: 22 October, 2018

A woman going through important hormonal changes is more susceptible to infections and diseases. Gingivitis during pregnancy is one of them.

This condition is more common than you might think for pregnant women. It’s a periodontal disease that produces severe inflammation of the gums, including bleeding.

The infection produces the destruction of the tissues that support the teeth. This condition develops after keeping dental plaque deposits for a long time. It happens to approximately 50% of pregnant women.

Although this condition doesn’t imply any risk for the pregnancy, it shouldn’t be allowed to advance because if it isn’t treated in time, consequences can derive from it. An advanced periodontal disease can cause a premature delivery.

Reasons why gingivitis during pregnancy is common

Gingivitis During Pregnancy

Increase in blood flow

Women experience increased blood flow during pregnancy. This can result in pain and inflammation of the gums, and in some cases, bleeding.

Dental sensitivity increases during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, so the risk of pain and inflammation in these areas is always latent.

Repulsion towards minty flavors

Although it’s rare, there are cases of pregnant women who develop a repulsion towards minty flavors. Since it causes nausea, they try to avoid them.

Since toothpaste is basically made with menthol flavors, vomiting increases, which damages the gums as a consequence.

Stomach acids that are present in vomit weaken the tissue of the gums and tooth enamel, making oral health vulnerable.

Oral breathing

When a mother has a cold, she’s probably suffering from a lot of nasal congestion. Having clogged nostrils causes her to breathe orally, which increases the risk of gingivitis during pregnancy.

Changes in salivation

Potassium, calcium, and iron increase in the saliva’s composition during pregnancy. It acquires a lower pH, therefore, it’s more acidic.

These conditions are favorable for the accumulation of dental plaque since anaerobic bacteria proliferate. In the same way, mucin increases during pregnancy. The mucin protein increases adhesion, which favors the destructive qualities of the bacterial plaque.

Symptoms of gingivitis

  • Pain and inflammation.
  • The gums have a bright appearance.
  • Sensitivity, inflammation, and redness of the gums.
  • Bleeding occurs when brushing the teeth.

If a woman has any of these symptoms during pregnancy, she should immediately go to her dentist to receive treatment on time and avoid complications. 

Complications of gingivitis during pregnancy

A pregnant woman must be attentive to any condition during her gestation period. Although it may seem that oral diseases don’t imply a greater risk for pregnancy, these can bring unimaginable consequences when not treated on time.

  • Blister proliferation. Blisters are called pregnancy tumors. Fortunately, their removal isn’t difficult, but they’re uncomfortable for women anyway.
  • Premature delivery. Women who suffer from a periodontal disease are three times more likely to have a premature birth. The hemo-placental barrier receives substances that have been secreted by the immune system. These cause advancement in the delivery date, usually before the 37th week is over.

Tartar is the main supplier of bacteria in the immune system.

Gingivitis During Pregnancy

Treatment for gingivitis during pregnancy

Maintaining good oral hygiene can perfectly prevent this condition. Women should be aware that, during pregnancy, health measures should be even more rigorous due to the changes that their bodies experience and the consequences these have on their health.

Tooth brushing should last at least three minutes and the minimum frequency of brushing should be twice a day. The toothbrush should have soft bristles to minimize damage to the gums and it should be replaced every six months. We also recommend using dental floss daily.

Mouth rinses with warm water and salt once a day will help maintain oral health. Additionally, we recommend scheduling at least one visit to the dentist for each trimester, to make sure that everything is under control.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.