Gum Symptoms in Pregnancy:
Gingivitis is the inflammatory response of gums to plaque and calculus. Pregnancy itself does not cause gingivitis, but it accentuates the gingival response to plaque. No notable changes occur in the gingiva during pregnancy in the absence of local factors like plaque etc. Severity of gingivitis is increased during pregnancy beginning in second or third month with bleeding gums being the most common symptom. Bacterial – hormonal interactions may change the composition of plaque and lead to gingival inflammation.
Tooth mobility may increase. Gingiva may become swollen (oedematous), enlarged and may even change in colour (more reddish) during pregnancy if the person had chronic mild gingivitis before. However, these gingival changes are painless. Rarely, the inflamed gingiva may form discrete “tumorlike” masses, which are referred to as pregnancy tumors. Increase in estrogen and progesterone, decrease in maternal T – lymphocyte and increase in subgingival P. intermedia species may cause altered tissue response to plaque.
Gingivitis becomes most severe by eight month and decreases during the night month of pregnancy. It significantly reduces by 2 months postpartum and the normalize within 1 year. Therefore, it can be concluded that first and third trimester is when we see surge of gonadotropins and hormones respectively, and therefore gingivitis is the most pronounced then.
Managing Swollen Gums during Pregnancy:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- A soft toothbrush may cause less irritation to your gums.
- Rinse daily with warm salt water.
- Once should also practice good nutrition.
- Have at least one oral checkup with our dentist during pregnancy.
- Oral antibiotics may be prescribed by the dentist, if the need be. Provide complete history of any allergy to any medications and also provide an account of any ongoing medications to avoid potential drug interactions.
- Use of Mouthwash may be advised.
Complications of Pregnancy Gingivitis:
If gingivitis is severe, long standing and untreated, then it may progress to irreversible Periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss. Therefore, early diagnosis and regularcheckup can go a long way in preventing anything serious. At Sabka Dentist, we provide FREE Dental Checkups and provide professional dental cleaning and scaling at affordable price.
Estrogen levels during pregnancy affects physiologic events in gingiva. This is through modulation of periodontal pathogens, impaired neutrophil function and cellular proliferation and differentiation. But, practicing good oral hygiene during pregnancy can minimize any effects.