Author: Lizzie Smith – blog last updated on Thursday 9th November 2023
If you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to have inflamed gums and caries (cavities). In this article, we’ll examine why your teeth are so vulnerable when you’re pregnant and what risks this poses. We’ll also give you five practical tips to help you deal with this.
Inflamed gums during pregnancy
Many women experience irritated or inflamed gums during pregnancy. This is known as gestational gingivitis. The pregnancy hormone progesterone causes greater sensitivity of the gums. The gums receive more blood flow, which makes the blood vessels in your gums more vulnerable. As a result, they can swell more quickly, bleed faster and react more rapidly to plaque.
Bleeding gums during pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean there’s gum disease. Due to the better blood flow, the gums can bleed faster, even without inflammation. Inflamed gums are irritated and red. However, it doesn’t usually hurt, although it can feel tender when brushing your teeth, and they can bleed easily.
It’s essential to keep a close eye on bleeding and inflamed gums, and prevent it as much as possible. When you’re pregnant, it’s even more important not to neglect inflamed gums and instead take immediate action.
Not only are your teeth at risk, but there are also indications that gum disease increases the risk of premature birth or that your child will be born with too low a weight. This isn’t surprising. Just like smoking and alcohol, inflammation causes toxins in the body, which ultimately end up in the unborn child.
1. Good daily oral hygiene
Good daily oral hygiene is vital for everyone. But you’re more likely to be sensitive to inflamed gums and caries (cavities) during pregnancy, so you need to pay extra attention. While that may be annoying because you already have enough on your mind and must pay extra attention to your health, taking care of your teeth and oral cavity during pregnancy is essential.
In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily, you should also floss daily or use toothpicks or toothbrushes to remove the plaque between your teeth.
Swollen and sensitive gums bleed more quickly. Therefore, brush very carefully – not too hard but not too soft – to remove all plaque.
2. Address the first signs of bleeding or inflamed gums immediately
In the first instance. You can treat bleeding or inflamed gums yourself. Even better is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. The RyttPro Healthy Gums Kit gives you everything you need.
RyttPro toothpaste Magic Mint is a mild yet effective toothpaste. It removes plaque and fights the harmful bacteria that make it up. The formula OZ-3X consists of stabilised chlorine dioxide, zinc and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC).
These are safe and mouth-friendly products that don’t affect the balance of the oral flora. RyttPro toothpaste neutralises the acidity in the oral cavity and contains fluoride to act against caries (cavities). It doesn’t contain harmful substances such as SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate), phthalates, parabens, flavourings or colouring agents.
RyttPro Oral Rinse is based on the same safe formula and is also suitable for rinsing your mouth after brushing and flossing.
In addition, the RyttPro Healthy Gums Kit contains two handy instruments in case of early gingivitis. With the mouthguard, you can let the toothpaste work longer on the affected area, whilst the jaw syringe helps squirt mouthwash directly onto an irritated area.
3. Extend your daily oral hygiene to your tongue
You can significantly reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth by brushing your teeth properly and cleaning your tongue. To prevent inflamed gums, you should clean your tongue daily.
Some sites recommend doing this with your toothbrush. But that’s not a good idea at all. The bristles of a toothbrush are designed to clean smooth tooth enamel. To clean the soft, rough tissue of your tongue without damaging it, much more delicate and finer hairs are needed. The head of a toothbrush is also too high to reach the back of your tongue without making you vomit, which is the last thing you want when you’re pregnant.
A combined tongue scraper and a special tongue brush are ideal to properly clean your tongue, such as the RyttPro Tongue Cleaner or the JuliBrite Tongue Cleaner. Both are available with a mild and effective agent for deep cleaning of the tongue tissue, which you can also use on your gums.
4. Consult your dentist and dental hygienist
When the time comes, visit the dentist for your biannual check-up. And make sure you tell them you’re pregnant. You should also go to the dentist immediately if you can’t control the onset of gingivitis yourself.
When you’re pregnant, it’s best to go to the dental hygienist more often than usual. Go as soon as you know you’re pregnant and every 2-3 months after that. Inflamed gums are not always immediately noticeable, but the dental hygienist can detect them prematurely.
Dental hygienists generally focus on prevention, which also applies if you’re pregnant. Tartar must be removed anyway as it attracts more plaque, to which your gums respond more quickly. Your dental hygienist will pay special attention to your oral health during pregnancy and can give you specific advice and instructions. This will help you prevent inflamed gums and caries (cavities).
5. Do not brush your teeth immediately after vomiting
The last tip doesn’t so much apply to the gums but to preserving your teeth.
Nausea during pregnancy is common, and sometimes you have to vomit. Most people tend to brush their teeth immediately after vomiting, but it’s actually a bad idea. The stomach acid that enters your mouth from vomiting temporarily softens the tooth enamel. So when you brush, you remove a layer of enamel.
Rinse your mouth with water or a good, soft mouthwash. This also immediately gives you a fresh taste and a clean mouth feeling without brushing away your tooth enamel. If you still want to brush your teeth after vomiting, wait at least half an hour, and preferably longer.
Oral Health Foundation: Gum disease
British Dental Journal: Time to take gum disease seriously