A condition called pregnancy gingivitis, affects about 50% of pregnant women. Gingivitis, which is caused by frequent snacking of sugary foods, can cause bleeding, swelling, tenderness and redness of the gums. Most pregnant women eat smaller portions but more frequently throughout the day without brushing their teeth after each snack. Which increases the plaque and bacteria on their teeth. Best way to avoid pregnancy gingivitis, is to brush your teeth after each time you eat and floss at least once a day.
Leaving gingivitis untreated, can cause it to develop into periodontal disease, which is a more serious gum infection. Periodontal disease destroys the supporting bone and attachment fibers that hold your teeth in their place. It has also been linked to low birth weight babies and preterm labor. Certain oral bacteria contain prostaglandin, which is a hormone that's known to cause labor.
Another condition face by many pregnant women is oral tumors. They often appear as raw, painful lumps on the gums usually in the second trimester. They aren’t cancerous, but can indicate a serious oral condition that is usually caused by plaque. In most cases, the tumors go away after giving birth, but if they remain, you can get them surgically removed.
It’s highly recommended to have a dental exam and any required procedures performed before your pregnancy. Once you are pregnant, you should continue getting regular cleanings from your dentist. Just make sure you avoid dental treatments like x-rays, bonding, and whitening.
Before undergoing any dental treatment, check with your obstetrician, and make sure you inform your dentist that you’re pregnant when you visit him.