The Link Between Pregnancy and Gingivitis
The hormonal changes that come with pregnancy affect the entire body including your mouth. By some accounts, 40% of women will experience some form of gingivitis during pregnancy. It’s due to the surge of the hormone progesterone, which makes the gums more sensitive to plaque and easier for gingivitis-causing bacteria to grow.
It is important to note that plaque and not hormones is the culprit. Therefore maintaining good oral hygiene, including visiting your dentist, is recommended during pregnancy.
However, according to a US survey, most women do not visit the dentist during pregnancy, and half of surveyed women believed poor oral health during pregnancy was normal, or they thought that seeking dental help would harm their baby.
But the opposite is true. In fact, there may be a link between having gingivitis while pregnant and low birth weight babies, because the bacteria in the mouth many enter the bloodstream and travel to the fetus.
Another study found that a deep teeth cleaning during pregnancy may lower preterm birth rates. While most routine dental procedures should be safe, be sure to tell your dentist which stage of pregnancy you’re in.