Brush up


Good dental health is essential for everyone. For pregnant women, misunderstandings about dental care during pregnancy can keep many of them from the dentist’s chair.

During those nine months, a woman’s mouth can undergo significant changes due to natural physiological changes. According to an article published in the November/December 2010 issue of General Dentistry, pregnant women can experience gingivitis, oral pregnancy tumors and mild to severe gingival enlargement all in the normal course of a pregnancy.

Clinically, pregnancy gingivitis is no different than non-pregnancy gingivitis. Because of hormone fluctuations and bacteria, patients will experience redness and inflammation of the gums, bleeding on probing, and increased tooth mobility. Almost 100% of pregnant women will experience this kind of temporary gingivitis.

“Although bleeding and inflammation of the gums has been noted in all trimesters of pregnancy, it typically disappears three to six months after delivery, provided that proper oral hygiene measures are implemented,” says Crystal L. McIntosh, DDS, MS, lead author of the article. “Good oral hygiene and visits to a dentist can help to alleviate gum inflammation.”

Pregnancy tumors occur in only 10% of mothers-to-be. They appear as growths in the mouth and usually disappear after the baby is born. They are painless, dark in color and sometimes bleed, but are innocuous.

Gingival enlargement is an overgrowth of the gums and occurs in less than 10% of pregnant women. The gums can grow up and sometimes cover the teeth. This is thought to happen because of increased bacteria. Oral hygiene during pregnancy is essential. A dentist should be an integral part of your pregnancy team.

Source: General Dentistry, ScienceDaily


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