Most women usually aren’t really concerned about the changes that happen in their mouth during and after pregnancy. There are a lot of things to worry about and changing your oral hygiene practices is usually not very high on the list of concerns. After all, you’re going to have a baby! But the fact is, if you don’t pay attention to your gums now, you might end up with some major problems in your mouth in the future.
These major problems include pregnancy gingivitis and pregnancy periodontitis (gum infections ) which may give you a lifetime of dental issues coming your way.
Pregnancy does take a toll on your overall health as well as gum health. About 60-70% of pregnant women face swollen gums postpartum. But how do you take care of your gums post-pregnancy? What can you do to reverse these conditions? To understand this let’s first understand the pregnancy-related changes in your gums.
Gum changes during pregnancy
As your pregnancy progresses, you may notice some changes in your gums. Hormonal changes can cause some dramatic changes in your gums, including:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Puffy gums
- Bulky gums
- Pregnancy gingivitis (a form of gum disease)
- Pregnancy gum growth ( benign pregnancy tumor)
When do your gums get affected in pregnancy?
Changes in your gum health happen throughout the pregnancy and even post-pregnancy. These changes do not happen overtime but happen gradually through the journey of pregnancy.
- 1st trimester- Pregnancy-related changes on your gums start first from bleeding gums leading to puffy gums. Usually, these changes are often ignored as women don’t really pay attention to the signs and symptoms during this phase.
- 2nd trimester – As pregnancy progresses there are more advanced changes that take place. Gums start to appear more swollen and bulky. They also become tender and painful even with the slightest pressure.
- 3rd trimester- The third trimester is when more amount of hormonal changes occur making the gums more bulbous and painful. This condition can also lead to receding gums.
Why are gums affected during pregnancy?
The hormonal and physiological changes that come with pregnancy are unique. Pregnant women experience sudden and dramatic increases in estrogen and progesterone. They also experience changes in the amount and function of a number of other hormones.
Another reason for pregnancy related gum problems is —poor oral hygiene. Hormonal changes cause increased levels of plaque and calculus build-up in and around the teeth and gum line. This naturally increases the bacterial levels in the mouth and cause inflammation of the gums( gum infections).
Post-pregnancy impact on your gums
After you give birth, your body goes through a lot of changes and you’re probably dealing with some serious postpartum recovery—not to mention sleep deprivation! These changes can affect your gums, too, making them more susceptible to inflammation, swelling, and bleeding.
It’s normal for postpartum gum swelling (postpartum gingivitis) to reduce gradually as your hormonal levels start to decline. The reduced hormonal levels reverse the condition of swollen gums to some extent.
In addition to this, it also depends on various other factors and your body’s healing ability of the gum tissues. Post-pregnancy gum inflammation (pregnancy gingivitis) may be such that either it takes a long time for the gums to return to a healthy condition or at times they may need some precautions and treatments in order for them to heal properly.
Post-pregnancy gum changes usually return back to normal conditions within 1-2 months but about 25-30% cases of gums do not return to a healthy condition and require some gum care precautions in order for them to heal properly.
Postpartum gum care and precautions
By now we know how hormonal levels keep fluctuating during pregnancy and their impact on the gums. As mentioned earlier we also know these changes are expected to regress and fade post-delivery to fall in the hormonal levels.
But sometimes even if the hormonal levels drop after pregnancy, some of these gum diseases may not go away. Poor oral hygiene can also cause the disease to progress, leading to pregnancy periodontitis.
Unfortunately, women often don’t change their oral hygiene habits after they have children. They just brush their teeth like they always have—but that’s not enough! Post-pregnancy dental care should include things like brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning. Unfortunately, one important step many women miss out on is —massaging their gums. Gum massaging prevents postpartum dental problems (post-pregnancy gum diseases) from spreading and progressing to advanced stages.
How do gum stimulators work in swollen gums?
You’re probably wondering what a gum stimulator is and how it can help reduce swollen gums postpartum? It may sound weird, but gum stimulator benefits may actually prove to improve your gum health, especially during post-pregnancy phase.
A gum stimulator is a device that you can use on your gums to stimulate them and improve their health. This device also reduces the bacterial levels in the mouth, which reduces the root cause of gum swelling. Using a gum stimulator also helps stimulate the gum tissues and make them stronger and more taught.
By using a gum stimulator, you can prevent the spread of diseases from pregnancy gingivitis to pregnancy periodontitis. This device is highly efficient as it removes plaque and food particles from your mouth while maintaining good oral hygiene. It increases blood circulation better than using fingers to massage your gums, which encourages enough blood flow and accelerates the healing process, reducing post-pregnancy gum swelling.
Massaging your gums with gum stimulators daily for 2 minutes can save you from major gum problems. Help improve the swollen gums postpartum by increasing blood flow, reducing plaque and bacterial levels, and promoting gum healing. Gum stimulators work much better than massaging them with your fingers.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy may cause your gums to swell and become puffy leading to pregnancy gingivitis.
- Post-delivery the hormonal levels decline to result and gum diseases start to fade away.
- Sometimes the gum diseases continue to spread and progress to pregnancy periodontitis.
- Maintaining oral hygiene and postpartum gum care is very important.
- One way to improve your gum health during and post-pregnancy is to massage your gums.
- Gum stimulators are more effective in reducing postpartum gingivitis and periodontitis than gum massaging with fingers.
- If you ever experience postpartum gum pain reach out to your dentist immediately.