Itchy Gums During Pregnancy Are A Symptom Nobody Warned You About. Here's How To Alleviate The Itch

16 November 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

While most women know to expect morning sickness and back pain, itchy gums are a common effect of pregnancy that is rarely discussed. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, in particular an elevated level of progesterone, will cause your gums to swell and itch. While itchy gums during pregnancy are not usually a sign of anything serious, it could be a predictor of pregnancy gingivitis. It's important to schedule an appointment with your local dentist to rule out any serious causes of itchy gums. In the meantime, here are some ways to deal with itchy gums during pregnancy.

Don't Scratch That Itch! It Can Cause Gum Disease

When your itchy gums are driving you crazy, you may feel tempted to relieve them by brushing your gums with a toothbrush or scratching them with your fingers. Unfortunately, this is not a good solution. Even if you use a soft-bristled toothbrush, you are very likely to abrade your gums to the point that they bleed. That creates an opportunity for bacteria to invade your gums and cause gingivitis. Your fingers and your toothbrush also carry bacteria which will be delivered straight onto your gums, which exacerbates the risk.

Rinse With Antibacterial Mouthwash Regularly

The most important thing that you can do to alleviate your itchy gums and prevent gingivitis during pregnancy is to rinse out your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash as often as you can. This will kill bacteria in your mouth before it has a chance to cause an infection in your gums. If you are using mouthwash regularly, look for one that does not contain alcohol; regularly rinsing with an alcohol-containing mouthwash will rapidly dry out your mouth and can make the itch worse.

Drink Cold Water To Reduce Swelling And Alleviate The Itch

The foremost cause of itchy gums during pregnancy is swelling of the gums due to an elevated level of progesterone in your body. Drinking cold water is like putting a cold compress on your gums; it's a natural way to reduce swelling. You can also hold ice cubes in your mouth to reduce swelling. However, you do not want to chew on them because this will increase blood flow to your gums and may cause the itch to become worse.

Avoid Foods That Trigger Your Itchy Gums

Many women find that eating certain foods can trigger the itch in their gums. In particular, spicy food is a common culprit. You may also be suffering from minor food allergies; although you may have had these allergies before you became pregnant, the hormonal changes you are going through are exacerbating the histamine reaction in your mouth and causing your gums to itch. You should eliminate these trigger foods from your diet.

See Your Local Dentist For A Cleaning And Examination

Although itchy gums are common during pregnancy, it may be a sign of something more serious such as pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnant women are more susceptible to gingivitis due to the swollen gums that accompany the rise on progesterone experienced during pregnancy. It's important to see your local dentist to ensure that itchy gums are not a symptom of a more serious issue. Another potential cause of itchy gums is plaque buildup near your gumline; when plaque hardens near the gumline, it cannot be removed by brushing or flossing and can only be treated by a dentist.