Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pregnancy Gingivitis

During pregnancy, 50-70% of women will complain of swollen, sore or bloody gums. We call this condition "pregnancy gingivitis".

Before reading any further, if you aren't familiar with what gingivitis is, I encourage you to read my blog What is Gingivitis?

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Healthy gums are pink--not red

As the pocketing gets deeper,
hygiene becomes more challenging.
There are several factors that influence this condition. A change in hormones (mainly progesterone) will increase edema in the gums. When this occurs, the gums have more fluid. This will make the pocketing deeper than normal. We call the space below the gum line a "pocket". The picture on the right demonstrates this. It is showing an instrument that measures how deep the pocket is in millimeters. When the pocket is deeper than 3 mm, it becomes more difficult to keep clean. When debris is left below the gum line, the gums will get irritated, tender and very prone to bleeding. This inflammatory process is not much different than having a splinter in your finger.

So how do we prevent this? The answer is simple…..immaculate hygiene. You must remove the debris that forms in the pockets. Use an electric toothbrush and floss daily.

One interesting fact about women that experience pregnancy gingivitis is that they are four to seven times more likely to deliver prematurely and have underweight babies. So, not only is it important to maintain immaculate oral hygiene for the mother's health, it is also incredibly important for the health of the baby!

If you believe you are suffering from pregnancy gingivitis, simply improve your oral hygiene. If swelling, tenderness and bleeding remains an issue, see your dentist or dental hygienist to help you clean below the gums. This will often resolve the issue.

Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit


  1. Thanks, very well written post, found it through a random google search and i shared it on my digg account.. Morristown Dentist

  2. Thank you Daniel………and thanks for sharing!

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  4. During pregnancy you can normally find dental gingivitis because of hormonal changes. Pregnancy gingivitis can affect your pregnancy so you should care your teeth during pregnancy.
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