Dr. Middleton of Riverside, CA understands that pregnancy puts womens’ bodies through a lot of changes, however most women are unaware of the fact that pregnancy can affect their dental health as well. Most changes are associated with a surge in hormones (estrogen and progesterone), which can intensify the way gum tissue reacts to plaque. A build up of plaque can turn into gingivitis that, if not treated, can become periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Most women will get a certain degree of “pregnancy gingivitis” while pregnant, but it can be prevented or be less severe by keeping teeth clean, flossing, and eating healthy. Another dental complication pregnant women are at risk of developing is pregnancy tumors. Pregnancy tumors are inflammatory, non-cancerous growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Most of the time these tumors are left alone and usually shrink on their own after baby is born; however, if a pregnancy tumor is uncomfortable or getting in the way of dental hygiene, Dr. Middleton may decide to remove it. If oral health is neglected, bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums and travel to the uterus developing the production of chemicals called prostaglandins which can induce premature labor. If you are unsure about your dental health and are planning to get pregnant, call the office of Dr. Middleton at (951) 688-3442 to understand what dental health procedures you should follow to keep you and your baby healthy.