Pregnancy and Dental Health

How may pregnancy affect your gums?

Here’s another reason to maintain good oral health during pregnancy: The plaque on your teeth can make your gums red, tender, and likely to bleed easily when you brush your teeth. This condition is called gingivitis (jin-ja-VIE-tis) and can lead to more serious diseases affecting the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place.

During pregnancy, your body’s hormone levels rise greatly. These hormones can make your gum tissue more sensitive to plaque. That is why gingivitis is especially common during pregnancy. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings during your second trimester or early third trimester to help you avoid problems.

In some women, growths of tissue called “pregnancy tumors” appear on the gums, most often during the second trimester. These growths or swellings are usually found between the teeth and are believed to be related to excess plaque. They bleed easily and have a red, raw-looking appearance. They usually disappear after the baby is born. If necessary, they can be surgically removed. If you notice pregnancy tumors or any other changes in your mouth during pregnancy, see your dentist.

What are the most common signs of teething?

  • Red cheeks or rash on cheeks
  • Excessive drooling
  • Cold-like symptoms
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Biting and gnawing
  • Not sleeping well
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever

What are helpful tips for teething?

  • Let your baby chew on a cold, hard object such as a water-filled or chilled teething ring
  • Teething gels or ointments can numb the gums
  • Give your baby a cold of bottle of water
  • Massage the gums lightly with a clean finger or some ice
  • Give your baby a small dose of non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Give your baby cold food, such as chilled applesauce
  • Frequently wipe your baby’s face to remove drool and prevent a rash from developing
  • Place a clean, flat cloth under the baby’s head during sleep to catch the drool