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Can pregnancy make me susceptible to gingivitis?

Since pregnancy causes a change in hormones, it can make gingivitis worse. A buildup of tartar during pregnancy can also cause an overgrowth of gum tissue referred to as a pregnancy tumor. This lump may interfere with your eating and will bleed easily. See your dentist often for proper oral care.
Carol Jahn
Dentist
Yes, the hormonal changes in pregnancy can make you more susceptible to gingivitis. A little plaque left behind during brushing that did not cause a problem previously, may be more irritating to the gums during pregnancy and lead to bleeding gums, swelling, and redness.

If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant and haven't seen your dentist in the last six months, schedule an appointment today for a cleaning and checkup. If you are pregnant, let them know when making the appointment and tell them how far along you are. 

Good daily self-care -- thorough tooth brushing and cleaning between your teeth can help you avoid gingivitis. Many people struggle with flossing but the good news is there are many good, effective alternative including toothpicks, floss holders, interdental brushes, and a Water Flosser. If your gums feel tender, the Water Flosser is a good choice because you can start out on a low pressure setting for a gentle soothing cleansing of the gums.

Some women develop a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness. Your mouth can be affected by the hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy. Your gums also may bleed a little when you brush or floss. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent this.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.