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Gingivitis, bleeding and painful gums during pregnancy are conditions that are as frequent as they are unpleasant. Lots of women experience some kind of gum problem when they are expecting a baby and gum disease affects such a large percentage of pregnant women that some people think it is just another "part of pregnancy". But, although pregnancy hormones do play a large part in the development of gum disease, you can have a gum disease-free pregnancy. How?

The pregnancy hormone progesterone plays quite a large role in pregnancy gum disease. That is because it causes your gums to be more vulnerable to bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva, and its quality, is another key player in the game of gum disease. Bleeding additionally becomes more likely in pregnancy because pregnant women's blood volume is higher. Brushing your teeth more often may or may not be the answer to gum disease in pregnancy. If you brush too often, too long, and with a tooth brush that is too hard, this can in fact aggravate your gum disease or so my dentist says.

Regular dental check ups are important while you are pregnant, but there are also plenty of alternative schools of thought that might be able to help you fight dental decay and gum disease in pregnancy. For instance, some people swear by using the alcohol sugar xylitol to neutralize bacteria that cause teeth and gum problems. Others have special diets for gum disease. One thing is for sure if you have bad gum disease, you definitely need to see a dentist. Some studies link gum disease to premature labor and even still birth, so there is every reason to take it very seriously once you develop it.

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