Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in the body, namely due to hormones as your body accommodates your growing baby. The hormone changes during pregnancy can influence weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, cravings, and even your dental health.
In fact, up to 80% of pregnant women experience gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease which causes gum inflammation . Gingivitis can cause swollen, tender gum tissue as well as bad breath and bleeding gums. But why exactly do your gums bleed while you’re pregnant, and is it safe to get treatment? Here’s what you need to know.
Progesterone and Estrogen Cause Gum Tissue to Swell
Hormones, namely the increase in progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy, can cause mucus membranes and sinuses to become inflamed late in your first trimester or early in your second. These hormones can also affect your gum tissue, making it swell and potentially causing gums to bleed or react more to bacteria and plaque in the oral cavity .
The periodontal symptoms you may see during pregnancy seeing are referred to as pregnancy gingivitis, or gingivitis that appears during pregnancy. Although your gum tissue will likely return to normal at the end of your pregnancy or after birth, it’s important to seek treatment and not ignore the symptoms of gum disease.
The Consequences of Ignoring Pregnancy Gingivitis
Keeping your teeth clean and your smile healthy during pregnancy is more important that you think. Pregnancy gingivitis and cases of full-blown gum disease during pregnancy have been linked to premature birth and low-birth weight for babies .
In addition, pregnancy gingivitis has the potential to develop into full-blown gum disease. Since gum disease has been linked to birth complications, it’s essential to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible throughout your pregnancy.
Seeking Treatment for Gingivitis While Pregnant
Fortunately, it’s safe to receive treatment for gum disease while you’re expecting . Depending on your symptoms, you may only need a deep cleaning to help remove plaque, smooth your gum tissue back over your tooth roots, and keep your smile and your baby healthy.
When visiting your dentist, let them know about your pregnancy and discuss any symptoms of gum disease you may have. Your dentist can conduct a comprehensive oral health exam and let you know the best method of treatment based on your unique smile.
Do You Have Bleeding Gums?
If you’re expecting and have bleeding gum tissue, don’t ignore it. Schedule an exam with your dentist to find out if you could have pregnancy gingivitis and how you can keep your smile healthy for both you and your little one!