ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pregnancy Gingivitis Symptoms and Treatment - Morning Sickness and Tooth Decay

Updated on April 30, 2013
pregnancy gingivitis symptoms and treatment
pregnancy gingivitis symptoms and treatment

Gingivitis During Pregnancy

Congratulations on being pregnant. The journey you and your body will go on over the next few months will be plentiful to say the least.

You will have heard all about pregnancy and morning sickness, pregnancy and your baby bump and even pregnancy and stretchmarks.

However have you heard about pregnancy and dental health?

Pregnancy gingivitis?

Pregnancy is often a time when we take stock of our health. We focus inwardly on our bodies, we become more attuned to ourselves. Time is never more important to keep ourselves healthy, on the inside and out, and this includes a trip to the (dreaded) dentist.


If gingivitis not managed, it has been known to lead to serious gum disease. Known as periodontitis, during pregnancy this can increase the chance of pre-term labor and a low birth weight baby.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

During pregnancy, hormonal changes are all too common. What is not often spoken about are swollen gums. A woman's gums may become tender, sore and inflamed during pregnancy resulting in bleeding. Inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis.

Whenever you eat, small particles of food sit between your teeth and your gums, and soon these attract bacteria and can result in inflamed gums.

This is common during pregnancy and is referred to a pregnancy gingivitis.

Anyone can get gingivitis however during pregnancy you are at greater risk. Pregnancy gingivitis is brought on by hormonal changes in the body which bring a greater flow of blood to the gum tissue. More blood results in sensitive gum tissue and can inevitably mean swollen gums.

Hormonal changes alter the way our bodies respond to bacteria and this change can lead to mouth infections. Furthermore, with swollen gums it is more difficult to remove plaque build up on teeth which again heightens the occurance of gingivitis.

You may notice bleeding from your gums whilst brushing and/or flossing. If our gums become infected, this is called periodontal disease.

Gingivitis Cure?

The best cure for pregnancy gingivitis is to avoid it all together. Furthermore, avoiding a lifestyle that encourages foods high in sugar which can contribute to tooth decay are key to overall good oral hygiene and dental health.

Here are some suggestions which can be introduced into your pregnancy routine.

Reduce intake of sweets

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness, or better known as all day sickness for some of us, can cause a lot of vomiting. Believe it or not, continuous and repeated exposure to stomach acids, can actually cause our teeth to become more sensitive.

For those who suffer morning sickness, there is the never-ending search for the ultimate relief.

Eat this, eat that, eat regularly. Heard all of that before?

Eating small amounts often is a popular solution. From a dental perspective, this is OK in the short term however it can actually increase the risk of tooth decay.


How can eating regularly increase tooth decay risk?

Eating food continuously during the day can increase the risk of tooth decay because teeth do not get a chance to recover.

Recover from what?

Let's take a small step back here.

Tooth decay is nearly entirely preventable. Most people know that to prevent tooth decay you need to brush your teeth regularly, floss, upkeep dental appointments and limit your intake of sugar and sugary foods. However this is often where the understanding ends.

What you don't see is that there is a constant war going on inside your mouth.

Think about your teeth. As much as they just look like little white things that help you chew, they are very much alive. They are connected to your blood circulation and are in a constant state of mineral exchange with saliva.

When we eat, any bacteria in our mouths turns sugar into an acid. This acid can, and does, dissolve the enamel from our teeth. This is called demineralisation.

When saliva is produced in our mouths, it washes over our teeth and because it is full of minerals, it replaces lost minerals on our teeth. This is called remineralisation.

  • Eat food = demineralisation
  • Saliva produced = remineralisation

So, back to eating often to counter nausea during pregnancy...we need to let our teeth recover. Eating often never gives our mouths the chance to be food free long enough for enough saliva to be produced to replace minerals on our teeth.

Everything in moderation.

This, amongst other factors discussed, can increase risk of decay. It will not happen overnight. A daily slip up is OK. Remember that. Just consider the broader picture and keep dental health at the front of your mind.

How to manage sore swollen gums

Regular Brushing

  • Try brushing after every meal, or at least twice a day
  • Regular flossing is also key - before bedtime is ideal

Type of Brush?

  • A manual, soft-bristled brush is key
  • Be gentle
  • Alternate toothpaste if you need to - introduce one for sensitive gums

Morning Sickness? Gag Reflex?

Morning sickness (or all day sickness) during pregnancy brings with is a feeling of nausea. Pregnancy nausea is also known to cause gag reflex.

If you are struggling to brush your teeth without gagging, or even find the smell of toothpaste makes you dry retch, rinse your mouth with water or a mouth rinse that has fluoride.


Remember, do not delay your regular visit to the dentist. Always make sure to advise your dentist that you are pregnant, particularly if there is major work to be done. A requirement to fix a tooth cavity will usually be put off until after you have had your baby so as to avoid any other complications; speak with your dentist on a case by case scenario.

Even the action of sitting still in a dental chair for a long period of time is not advised as it can put unwanted pressure on blood vessels which may, in some extreme cases, cause fainting.

At anytime during your pregnancy it is advisable to contact your dentist if you feel your gums are bleeding a lot and are uncomfortably painful. Also ongoing bad breath could be a warning sign of pregnancy gingivitis.

Any elective dental treatments such as tooth whitening should be avoided whilst pregnant.

All Hubs are Original Material by 'Work At Home Mums' ©


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Australia

      Thank you. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Another great hub!

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Australia

      Kelley so sorry to hear that. Our bodies go through so much don't they. Hope it all comes to an end sooner than later.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have had so many more cavities since being pregnant and breast feeding. This is a very important hub. Thanks for sharing. Take care, Kelley


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)