Women who are pregnant undergo hormonal changes that increase their risk for developing gum disease. It is fairly common for pregnant women to experience pregnancy gingivitis (gums that are swollen, tender, and bleed easily). Taking care of pregnancy gingivitis is important because bleeding gums create a path for bacteria (released from flossing or brushing) to easily get into the mother’s bloodstream. Because pregnant women are more vulnerable to infections, their body’s immune systems may not be able to fight off the low levels of oral bacteria in the blood as well. Consult with the dentist to figure out how best to maintain your oral health while pregnant.

Before becoming pregnant, make sure to have your teeth professionally cleaned and your gum tissue examined. Pregnancy gingivitis will usually reverse once the baby is born. At that point, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with the dentist to evaluate your periodontal health.