pregnancyHave you noticed, now that you’re pregnant, you’re gums are red and inflamed, leading to gingivitis? During your pregnancy your body as you know is going through a lot of changes. Between the hormone surges, the morning sickness and the cravings you may feel like your body is out of your control. Because of all the changes you’ll be undergoing you have to be extra diligent about your oral health. Your teeth and gums are more susceptible to problems during this delicate period of your health. Because of your overactive hormones your gums can become more reactive to plaque and bacteria on your teeth. This can make them more prone to gingivitis (inflammation and irritation of gums). It is not uncommon for pregnant women to get something called a pregnancy tumor on their gums. Normally they are painless, but can spontaneously bleed. These red or purple lesions are simply irritated and inflamed gum tissue that usually resolves after the baby is born. Also, morning sickness can repeatedly expose your teeth to an acidic environment, leading to weakened tooth enamel and making you more susceptible to decay and erosion. To prevent these problems you should continue to see your dentist regularly for cleaning appointments as well as practicing good home care. At home you should floss at least once a day and brush after every meal. If you are prone to morning sickness you may want to incorporate a fluoride rinse to your daily regimen. Some suggest that after vomiting you should rinse with a mixture of a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water, to neutralize the acid in your mouth prior to brushing. Non-invasive procedures can be completed during your pregnancy, such as exams (without x-rays) and cleanings. If you have a dental emergency, which requires anesthesia to resolve, you should always contact your obstetrician first and get clearance for treatment. Maintaining good oral health is important not only to mother but to baby as well. Recent studies have shown a link between low birth weight and pre-term babies and gingivitis. It is believed that bacteria from gingivitis can travel from your gums into your bloodstream. It can then travel to the uterus and cause an increased production of chemicals called prostaglandins which can induce premature labor. By following a good home care regimen and seeing your dentist regularly you can help maintain good oral health during and after your pregnancy.]]>