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Can Pregnancy
Cause Gingivitis?

By Chie Li Ee DMD and Chrissy Boothroyd
As if swollen feet and morning sickness aren’t enough, pregnancy can also affect your oral health. It’s a myth that calcium
is lost from a mother’s teeth and “one tooth is lost with every
pregnancy,” but you may experience some changes in your oral
health during pregnancy.
You should schedule a checkup and cleaning within your first
trimester of your pregnancy. Routine dental visits are safe during pregnancy, just remember to inform your dentist of how far
along you are.
It is common for pregnant women to develop “pregnancy
gingivitis,” a mild form of gum disease that causes gums to be
red, tender and sore. The primary cause is an increased level of
hormones - which affects how gum tissue reacts to plaque. If you
had gingivitis prior to your pregnancy, it will probably worsen. If
untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious form
of gum disease.
Research suggests that periodontal disease may be a significant risk factor for pre-term, low-birthweight babies. Excessive
bacteria can enter the bloodstream through your gums. The
bacteria can travel to the uterus, triggering the production of
chemicals called prostaglandins, which are suspected to induce
premature labor.
Your baby’s teeth will begin to develop between the third and
sixth months. That’s why you need a sufficient quantity of nutrients—especially vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and
phosphorous. While it’s normal for pregnant woman to have the
desire to eat more, frequent snacking can be an invitation to tooth

Dental X-rays are sometimes necessary if you suffer a dental emergency or need a dental problem diagnosed. Your dentist will cover
you with a lead apron that minimizes exposure to the abdomen.
The following tips will help you maintain a healthy mouth during
your pregnancy:
‰ See your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. You
can prevent gingivitis by keeping your teeth clean. You may
need more frequent cleanings to help control gingivitis.
‰ Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.
‰ Maintain a healthy diet – particularly foods high in vitamins
A, C, D and B12, protein and calcium. Choose foods that are
low in sugar - fruits and vegetables, yogurt, or cheese.
‰ If you have morning sickness and are vomiting frequently,
try rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to
stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth.
‰ Drink water or milk instead of soda, juice or fruit flavored
The importance of regular dental visits goes well beyond a person’s oral health. Dr.
Ee encourages you to call Advanced Dental Concepts at (609) 601-9300
to schedule an appointment today. We are always welcoming new patients and are
looking forward to seeing you and your child for a lifetime of healthy smiles!