During pregnancy, there is a significant increase in hormone levels in a woman’s body. For example, there may be a ten-fold increase in progesterone levels and up to a thirty-fold increase in oestrogen levels. These increased hormone levels can affect the gums.
Being pregnant and having increased hormone levels does not cause periodontal disease. However, it is known that the increased hormone levels may result in a more exaggerated response of the gums to dental plaque. Pregnant women may notice increased bleeding or swelling of their gums. Pre-existing periodontal disease has been noted to worsen dramatically in pregnant women. It is therefore recommended that periodontal disease be treated prior to the onset of pregnancy.