What’s The Link Between Pregnancy And Gum Disease?

Gum disease is still a problem here in the UK, and one that affects thousands of us all over the country – in fact, one of our recent posts went into full details about this situation. If you’re pregnant, however, you might find yourself temporarily at even greater risk of developing gum disease. Don’t worry – it’s not something to panic about! This week on the blog here at AP Smilecare, bear with us as we explain the background of it all.

Why Is There More Of A Risk Of Gum Disease During Pregnancy?

woman eating chocolate muffin

As we’ve just mentioned above, gum disease is a common issue for many adults anyway, but pregnant women can often find themselves particularly vulnerable to it. This is mostly due to hormonal changes, which cause inflammations that make you more susceptible to plaque build-up, and the resultant bacteria. Over time, this can lead to bleeding gums; one of the main symptoms of gingivitis, otherwise known as gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis may then progress into periodontitis. That’s where the serious problems begin, involving your gums pulling away from your teeth. It’s exactly as unpleasant as it sounds!

Another symptom you might experience during pregnancy is called a pyogenic granuloma, also called a pregnancy tumour. Don’t worry – it’s not cancerous, and isn’t as scary as it sounds! It appears as a small lump of nodule somewhere on your body, most often on your gums, and can be the source of the bleeding when you brush. It’s very rare, harmless and usually painless. It’s most likely to appear in an area where you have gingivitis, and generally disappears once you have your baby. You can schedule an appointment to have it removed while you’re still pregnant, though – if it’s especially uncomfortable.

Should You Worry About It?

worry about gum disease

When it comes to your oral health – including gum disease and pregnancy tumours – obviously a good degree of caution is always wise, but certainly don’t panic. Many pregnant women can find that they have swollen, red or tender gums that bleed when brushed, so you’re definitely not alone! As we’ve hopefully explained, most conditions are short-lived, and unlikely to be harmful to you or your baby.

However, if you’re worried or you think something more serious might be occurring, we’d always encourage – and welcome – you to visit us here at our skincare clinic in Blackburn. Our dental experts will be only too happy to deal with your issue or put your mind at ease – whatever the situation calls for!

How Can You Avoid Gum Disease During Pregnancy?

mouth wash

Having said that, there are a number of things you can do for yourself at home which will minimise the chances of gingivitis developing. Obviously, you should never break from your established oral health routine of cleaning your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, for at least two minutes each time. But as well as that, it’s best to:

  • Avoid sugary drinks and foods
  • Avoid acidic drink and foods wherever possible
  • Choose alcohol-free mouthwashes
  • Use a small-headed toothbrush with soft filaments

Foods that are high in Vitamin C are great choices to fend off the symptoms of gum disease, including oranges, red peppers and broccoli. Meanwhile, Vitamin A has equally beneficial effects – you can find this in sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. Dried apricots are also another great source of it – and handily snack-sized, too.

If ever you have any serious worries, don’t forget that we’re always eager to put your mind at rest here at AP Smilecare. In fact, our dental professionals are trained specifically to help our patients feel as comfortable as possible before, during and after the procedures we carry out. You can find out more about our core treatments by clicking here, or give us a call on 01254 297 000. We’re always happy to help!

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Posted on: 12th Sep, 2017