So you’re pregnant! Congratulations! As you know, things will be eventful for you over the next several months. In order to bring a new life into the world, your body will need to go through many changes, including a rise in progesterone levels. The rise in progesterone creates a laundry list of changes in your body.
We know you have a lot to take care of, but we encourage all our pregnant patients to keep up with their oral health. It’s important to take care of your smile when you’re expecting, because one of the many changes progesterone brings about is increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Symptoms of Pregnancy-Related Gingivitis
If you develop pregnancy gingivitis, you may start to notice bleeding of your gums when you floss. Other common symptoms include:
- Red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Tender, puffy gums
During your third trimester, your risk of gum disease reaches its peak, so it’s a good time to be double alert. If your regular 6-month cleaning schedule falls here, great! If your regualr check-up doesn’t happen to land in your third trimester, it’s a good idea to schedule an extra cleaning.
Our patients sometimes ask us whether x-rays are safe for pregnant women. While in the past, dental x-rays were best avoided during pregnancy, today’s are perfectly safe.
4 Tips for Preventing Pregnancy Gingivitis
Gargle With Sea Salt. If your gums feel inflamed, try gargling for 30 seconds with saltwater. Just take a cup of warm water, and still in a teaspoon of sea salt until it dissolves.
Keep Up With Your Dental Hygiene. You know the drill! Floss daily, brush twice a day, and visit the dentist every 6 months. It’s a good idea to visit the dentist an extra time during your third trimester if you weren’t already planning on it.
Eat Good, Healthy Food. A balanced diet will take you so far, including helping keep your smile healthy!
Make sure you get plenty of:
- Whole grains
- Dairy products (if you’re not lactose intolerant)
It’s a good idea to let your dentist know you’re pregnant, even if you’re waiting to let your friends and family know. Don’t worry, your dentist will keep the news confidential.