Gingivitis is a gum disease that develops over time for a variety of reasons including improper diet and poor dental hygiene. But, due to hormonal changes that occur in pregnant women they are particularly susceptible to periodontal disease. In pregnancy, bleeding gums are so common that people tend to think that they are normal, but it is abnormal. Pregnancy gingivitis has the same symptoms that characterize other types of gingivitis. Gums become red, swollen and tender because they are being irritated and damaged by bacterial plaque on the teeth.
During pregnancy there are hormonal changes in women that alter the way the body defends itself against bacteria, the most common cause of gingivitis. These common bacteria produce flesh- eating toxins that literally eat away your gum tissue. The initial stage of this process is known as gingivitis. So the common cause of gingivitis is bacteria. During pregnancy, hormonal changes in particular change the body’s ability to combat the bacteria and keep it in check. Extra care of the teeth should be taken to avoid plaque buildup and in turn avoid gingivitis. It is even more important to have a good oral hygienic routine during this time. If you have existing gum and dental problems prior to pregnancy, then they may flare up during pregnancy.
Medical professionals have had to ask a few questions in order to ensure the proper health and development of babies being carried by mothers with gum disease. One issue that has been brought up in the past is the possibility that traditional treatments for gingivitis, such as antibiotics, can stain the babies’ teeth. In addition, treating gingivitis with a more intense teeth cleaning may introduce bacteria into the mother’s bloodstream, thus passing it to her unborn fetus.
It is very important for expecting mothers to take care quickly if they have gum disease because they have a six times greater risk of having pre-term and low birth weight babies. The bacteria that cause gingivitis could enter the blood stream and travel to the uterus. This triggers the body to produce prostaglandins, which is a natural fatty acid that normally controls inflammation and smooth muscle contraction. I f extra prostaglandins are produced when the body is reacting to infected gums, a pregnant woman’s body may think it is a signal for labor sooner than expected, thus causing a baby to be born too early or too small.