Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life, but it can also be full of information overload, change, and confusion. Expectant mothers often suffer from pregnancy-related gum disease, also known as “pregnancy gingivitis. Staying on top of your oral health during your pregnancy can help reduce the risk of bleeding gums in Washington, D.C. and other dental complications caused by gingivitis.

1. Talk to your dentist. Tell your dentist you are expecting, so they can better monitor your oral health during your pregnancy. They may recommend two or three visits throughout your pregnancy. If you need to receive any x-rays while pregnant, your dentist will determine the best time to do so.

2. Keep up with your oral hygiene routine. During your first trimester, maintaining your oral hygiene schedule may be the last thing on your mind. Try to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. If you experience morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or fluoride.

3. Eat for a healthy body… and mouth. Stick to a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean meats, eggs, and nuts. Stay away from foods and drinks high in sugar to reduce your risk of developing cavities. Drink water to stay hydrated and to stave off nausea.

4. Monitor the condition of your gums. Hormonal changes during pregnancy exaggerate your body’s natural reaction to bacterial plaque and can trigger gingivitis. Though it usually resolves after your baby is born, it can lead to premature birth and low birth weight if not treated! If non-cancerous “pregnancy tumors” form on your gum line, they can be removed by your dentist or left to resolve on their own.

Even if you maintain proper oral hygiene, you could still suffer from inflamed, swollen, or bleeding gums in Washington, D.C. If you have symptoms of gingivitis, call Dr. Phillip’s office at 202-350-4581 to schedule your appointment.