Gum disease is a common oral issue for adults, ranging from slight gum inflammation to serious dental issues, including losing teeth. Pregnant women can be prone to gum disease due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood flow, so it is especially important that women who are pregnant practice good oral hygiene habits. This often leads to the question of how to treat gum disease naturally during pregnancy?
Treating Gum Disease Naturally During Pregnancy
When gum disease is in its early stages, it is known as gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums.
If gingivitis goes untreated, it can develop into periodontitis, a more serious issue that involves the inflamed gums pulling from the teeth, leaving small areas, or pockets, for bacterial infections to inhabit.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease During Pregnancy
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Difficulty or pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
What Factors Contribute to Gum Disease While Pregnant?
Poor oral care habits aren’t the only thing that can irritate your gums.
Other contributing factors include:
How to Treat Gum Disease Naturally During Pregnancy
The good news is gum disease can be identified and treated early by consistently exercising a couple of at-home grooming habits or oral care practices.
- Brushing and Flossing – There’s a reason the dentist always encourages us to brush and floss daily. Good brushing and flossing habits can rid the gums and mouth of bacteria, reducing or reversing the inflammation of gingivitis.
- Vitamin C – If you want help battling the bacteria that’s building up in your mouth, try eating more fruits. Vitamin C can help combat gingivitis.
- Vitamin A – Another vitamin to add to your toolbox to fight gum disease is Vitamin A, which is essential in helping bones and teeth grow. Pay attention to the upper limits of Vitamin A.
- Sea Salt – Gargling with sea salt might help reduce the inflammation of gingivitis as you work to heal your gums.
When Natural Treatments Don’t Work
Sometimes, gum disease might be too far along to treat at home.
If this is the case, consider some of these options:
Visit Your Local Dentist
Your local dentist can give your teeth a deep cleaning and help get rid of plaque build-up that is contributing to gum disease.
Talk to your doctor and dentist before seeking treatment, as doctors recommend that dental treatments occur during the second trimester if possible.
If the bacterial infections are severe, your doctor or dentist may put you on a round of antibiotics to help combat the infection.
Your doctor should know which antibiotics are safe during pregnancy, but you should let your doctor know if you have any allergies before starting antibiotics. Learn more about dental work during pregnancy.
Common Antibiotics Prescribed during Pregnancy:
Prescription Mouth Rinse
Another item that your doctor or dentist might prescribe is prescription mouth rinse to help treat gum disease.
If the gum disease has progressed and the antibiotics or other treatments are unsuccessful in helping the disease, your dentist might recommend surgery to repair the gums.
Surgery is serious, so it is best to consult with your dentist or doctor before going through with the surgery.
Want to Know More?
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
2. WebMD, Dental Care Before, During, and After Pregnancy
3. MayoClinic, Antibiotics, and Pregnancy: What’s safe?
4. Natural-homeremedies.org, 6 Natural Cures For Periodontal Disease
5. MindBodyGreen, 9 Natural Ways To Treat Periodontal Disease