Receiving Sonora dental care may not be high on most women’s list when pregnant. While the need for dental care remains just as important during pregnancy, many women may simply wait until after delivering their child to schedule their next cleaning or dental exam. However, pregnancy offers its own unique wrinkle to the challenges women can face when it comes to protecting their long-term oral health.
To add one more item to the growing list of pregnancy side effects expectant mothers need to consider – bleeding gums during pregnancy is an issue many women face. The first time you notice blood on your toothbrush or spit may come as a surprise, and this unexpected discovery may also come with unusual sensitivity or soreness of your gums.
So what causes your gums to bleed while pregnant, and what should you do about it? Here’s what you need to know about bleeding gums and pregnancy.
Oral Health During Pregnancy
Pregnancy causes a constant hormonal fluctuation in a woman’s body that can lead to some unexpected consequences. When it comes to bleeding gums, the culprits are the hormones progesterone and estrogen.
During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels rise throughout the tissues in the body. The way the body normally fights off a gum infection is hampered due to the rise of these pregnancy hormones, making it far more likely for gum tissue to bleed. Actual receptors of progesterone and estrogen are found in gum tissue, thereby increasing the likelihood of an inflammatory response.
Of course, when most everything feels out of sorts during pregnancy, it’s easy to simply consider bleeding gums as the least of your worries. However, your dental hygiene plays a vital role and is intricately connected to the health of both you and your baby. To understand why, it’s important to be aware of the link between local and systematic inflammation.
Due to the notable links between an individual’s oral health and such systemic health conditions as respiratory infection, diabetes, heart disease, and premature birth, dental care during pregnancy plays a more significant role in protecting your long-term health. In fact, most dental plans actually increase the number of cleanings a patient can receive in one year from two to three if the patient is pregnant.
The mouth generates dental plaque – the primary cause of dental disease – on a daily basis. With a woman’s hormones in flux during pregnancy, the normal defenses the body has towards preventing plaque buildup and its effect on the gums become compromised. This makes it especially important for expectant mothers to practice quality oral hygiene at home – including brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Unfortunately, most people don’t floss or practice perfect oral hygiene during even the best of times, never mind during such a chaotic time like pregnancy. Without regular cleanings or visits to the dentist, plaque accumulates, leading to gums that bleed.
Surveys conducted by the American Dental Association have found that one-third of pregnant women admit to not having visited the dentist within the past year. However, if you’re experiencing pregnancy gingivitis, it might just be the encouragement needed to schedule an appointment for Sonora dental care.
Protecting Your Oral Health
Pregnancy gingivitis isn’t simply a condition that develops and subsequently goes away after delivery. A recent study found that the majority of examined women continued to experience oral health issues that developed during pregnancy over a year after childbirth. This can have serious long-term oral and overall health consequences if allowed to persist.
By practicing quality oral hygiene at home and receiving regular dental care you can significantly lower your risk of developing gingivitis or other oral health problem during pregnancy. Our team at Sonora Dental can also provide tips on how to better protect your oral health during this exciting time.
Don’t let your oral health suffer. Take the time to make taking care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy.