Pregnancy Gingivitis: Test, Don’t Guess

Recently, I was training in a well-established dental practice of more than 30 years.  The four woman, very talented and all out of school less than a year hygiene team, prompted the question about my opinion of pregnancy gingivitis. I answered with a question of my own, “What did you learn in school about it?” Quite frankly, their response left me speechless, “It’s caused by increased blood flow and it will go away once the baby is born.”  WHAT?  Is this really being taught to the next generation of dental hygiene health care providers?  It’s time for a wake-up call!

Bleeding gums are a result of a biofilm invasion and host response.  Is there a hormonal component?  Of course.  However, we cannot overlook the bacterial component in this equation.  How do you know if pregnancy gingivitis is hormonal driven or bacterial driven?  You MUST test.  When bleeding and harmful oral bacteria are present, they may enter the blood stream with the potential to cross the placental barrier; invading the intrauterine environment, putting the baby at risk for pre-term low birth weight and still birth.  It’s time to do something different!!  Test, don’t guess.

Click here to read about the Case Western University Study. Click here to read the NIH study.

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Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH

Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH

Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH is a Lead Profitability Coach with Inspired Hygiene, a national speaker, co-founder of and a columnist for RDH magazine. Graduating from Loma Linda University in 1981 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene, Kim is also a four-time graduate of the Bale/Doneen Mentor Preceptorship Program. In addition to clinical practice, Kim has more than 25 years of coaching experience. She has mentored hundreds of dental professionals in workshop and private practice settings. Kim is passionate about helping clinicians adopt solid science based principles and treatment philosophies resulting in exceptional treatment outcomes, healthier patients and happier more satisfied clinicians.
Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH

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