healthy gums Archives - RW Perio

Your gums play a vital role during pregnancy, acting as the foundation for your overall oral health and even impacting the well-being of your growing baby. While it’s perfectly normal for your gums to experience increased sensitivity and swelling due to hormonal changes, neglecting proper gum care can lead to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis, or gum disease. This inflammatory condition has been linked to several pregnancy complications, making it crucial for expectant mothers to prioritise their gum health during this delicate time.

We’ll delve into the connection between gum disease and pregnancy risks, exploring the potential consequences and underlying mechanisms. But don’t worry; we’ll also provide you with practical tips and strategies to maintain optimal gum health throughout your pregnancy journey, ensuring the best possible outcome for both you and your little one.

1.   The Link Between Gum Disease and Pregnancy Complications

Gum disease during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of several complications, including preeclampsia (high blood pressure), preterm birth, and low birth weight. But how exactly does this oral health issue potentially contribute to these adverse outcomes?

According to research, the inflammation caused by gum disease can enter the bloodstream and trigger an exaggerated immune response throughout the body. This heightened inflammatory state may then interfere with the placenta’s ability to deliver adequate nutrients and oxygen to the developing foetus, leading to potential growth restrictions or premature labour.

One study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that women with moderate to severe gum disease were at a significantly increased risk of delivering preterm, low-birth-weight babies compared to mothers with healthy gums. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology revealed a strong association between gum disease and preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

While the exact mechanisms behind these connections are still being studied, experts believe that the inflammatory molecules and bacteria released by gum disease may contribute to the placental inflammation and dysfunction observed in these complications.

2.   Maintaining Gum Health During Pregnancy

Excellent oral hygiene is your best defence against gum disease during pregnancy. However, the hormonal changes that occur during this time can make your gums more vulnerable to inflammation and bleeding, even with diligent brushing and flossing.

As your progesterone levels rise, your gums may become more sensitive to plaque and bacterial buildup, leading to pregnancy gingivitis. This condition is characterised by swollen, tender, and bleeding gums, and if left untreated, it can progress to more severe forms of gum disease.

However, don’t worry – pregnancy gingivitis typically resolves after childbirth when your hormone levels return to normal. In the meantime, prioritising your oral care routine and seeking professional assistance if needed is crucial to maintaining gum health during pregnancy. Here are some simple yet effective steps to incorporate into your daily routine:

In addition to your at-home routine, it’s crucial to maintain regular dental visits and cleanings during pregnancy. Your dental professional can provide a thorough cleaning and identify any areas of concern that may require additional attention or treatment.

3.   The Role of a Periodontist

A periodontist, like our team at Harley Street, is a dental specialist who focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases and other issues affecting the supporting structures of the teeth. During pregnancy, periodontal expertise can be invaluable in maintaining your gum health and addressing any concerns that may arise.

If you’re experiencing persistent gum inflammation, bleeding, or discomfort, your dentist may recommend a visit to a periodontist. Our periodontists can provide specialised treatments, such as scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning procedure to remove plaque and tartar buildup beneath the gum line) or targeted therapies for active gum disease.

Scaling and root planing involve carefully removing plaque, tartar, and bacterial deposits from the tooth surfaces and root areas. This process helps eliminate the sources of inflammation and allows the gum tissues to heal and reattach to the teeth. In some cases, antimicrobial or antibiotic treatments may be recommended to control the bacterial infection associated with gum disease.

Additionally, our periodontists can offer preventive measures, such as customised oral hygiene instructions, antimicrobial treatments, and frequent monitoring, to help manage your gum health proactively during this critical period.

4.   Tips for Expectant Mothers

To ensure optimal gum health throughout your pregnancy, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Extra Care and Precaution

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding. This is also called pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease.

It’s caused when your body produces more of the hormone progesterone, which boosts the blood supply to the mouth and makes gums more sensitive to bacteria. (The good news is, that once your baby’s born, pregnancy gingivitis should go away.)

If you experience morning sickness, try to avoid brushing immediately after vomiting to protect your enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and brush about an hour later, once the acid levels have neutralised.


Your gum health during pregnancy is closely intertwined with the well-being of both you and your growing baby. By understanding the potential risks associated with gum disease and taking proactive steps to maintain a healthy mouth, you can reduce your chances of experiencing pregnancy complications and ensure the best possible outcome for your little one.

Remember, your dental team is there to support you throughout this incredible journey. Don’t hesitate to consult a periodontist if you have any concerns or need specialised care. By prioritising your gum health, you’ll not only promote a more comfortable pregnancy but also give your baby the best possible start in life.

Here is your 10 step guide on how to have healthy gums

Looking after your teeth and gums can prevent gum disease. This means adopting good habits in oral hygiene and getting regular professional check-ups.

Here are the key factors to achieving healthy gums:

For more information on healthy gums, gum disease, dental and articles, make sure to read our other blogs.

More information on periodontal can be found on the British Society of Periodontology and Implant dentistry website.


Have you had a check-up recently?

In London, 55.7% of people have not seen a dentist in the last 24 months. The highest figure in the country. Skipping those crucial dental check-ups during the pandemic has had a huge knock-on effect on us all—one that can lead to more than just a toothache. Let’s delve into gum disease…

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis or periodontitis, is a common condition where the gums become swollen, sore, or infected.

If you are suffering from gingivitis, your gums may appear red and swollen and will bleed, particularly during brushing or flossing. This is due to inflammation along the gumline. The individual may also experience a bad taste or persistent mouth odour for a prolonged period of time. Frequent white spots or large amounts of plaque on the gums are also tell-tale signs of gum disease.

How does it occur?

There are multiple stages of gum disease. In simple terms, it is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. This is typically a result of poor or a lack of brushing of the teeth and a lack of interdental cleaning/flossing that creates plaque buildup on your teeth that hardens.

Gingivitis: This is the reversible stage of Gum disease, where the swelling and redness begin. Only the gums are involved.

Periodontitis: This derives from the word periodontal, which means “around the tooth” and refers to the structures that surround and support teeth. The second stage involves the bone around the tooth. You lose bone and pockets open up between your gum and tooth.

Other complications include a bad taste, mobile teeth and receding gums.

Who Does It Affect?

Gum disease has the potential to affect anyone of all ages.

Several risk factors that can increase the chances of periodontal diseases include smoking, poor oral hygiene, diabetes, medication, age, hereditary links, and stress.

According to BUPA, it has been concluded that over 90% of adults in the UK have some form of gum disease, even if only a small amount.

What Do Healthy Gums Look Like?

Healthy gums will appear pink and firm. They will not bleed when you brush or floss, nor will they feel sensitive or swollen when brushing, flossing or eating certain foods.

healthy gums

Natural Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

The good news is that it can be prevented!

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day and ensure to clean between your teeth too.
  2. Consider using an electric toothbrush to maximise your cleaning.
  3. Clean between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss daily.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly for a check-up and any maintenance as needed.

What are the benefits of treating periodontal disease?

It starts with Gum Disease, but it can get a lot worse if you don’t follow up with proper, effective treatment. Gum Disease has proven to be linked to dangerous health problems in other parts of your body and can increase your risk of

If treated correctly, the corresponding reductions in hospital admissions are:

What Treatments Do We Offer?

Here is a list of the relevant consultations and treatments that we offer to help you fight Gum Disease:

Periodontal Consultation

The first appointment will always be a periodontal consultation. This will involve a comprehensive discussion to ensure we are aware of your personal concerns and aims of treatment. This will be followed by a detailed periodontal examination, which involves measuring the position of the gums and determining whether or not spaces (pockets) have opened up between the gums and the teeth.

Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy

If you have been diagnosed with periodontitis, then treatment will usually begin with non-surgical periodontal therapy. Treatment will only work with good home care and so an important part of this treatment is us giving you tailored oral hygiene instructions. The bacteria and ‘build-up’ under the gum line and within the pocket are then removed through a technique called root surface debridement. This is usually carried out under local anaesthetic to ensure you are comfortable throughout the process. The aims of this treatment are to reduce the depth of the pockets and increase the ability to maintain good oral hygiene in the area.

Pocket Reduction Surgery

If the pockets are not reduced with non-surgical periodontal therapy then surgery may be suggested. This will involve reshaping the gums and bone. Sometimes, bone regenerative materials (synthetic/human/animal derived) may be placed around the teeth.

Gum Recession

Several methods are available to treat gum recession and to reverse it in most cases. At RW Perio, we perform gum grafts, which require pulling the gum down over the receded area and/or taking a small piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth. The graft will improve not only the appearance of the gums but also the thickness.

How Can I Make My Gums Healthy Again?

Creating a routine for oral hygiene that you can follow every morning and night is the first step. In order to keep your gums healthy, consistency is key. Follow the steps above to maintain healthy gums, stick to your routine religiously and try to cut down on sugary foods and drink as much as possible.

We want you to feel confidence in your smile.

Want to take the next step with us?

RW Perio is a specialist private practice dedicated to the treatment of periodontal (gum) diseases, in a comfortable and caring environment. As a leading periodontist in London, our aim is to assist every patient to achieve and maintain optimal gum health.

If you have any concerns about your oral health, you can book an appointment with us or give us a call at our specialist clinic located on 75 Harley Street.

Get in touch with us today or Try Our Online Gum Health Check now!

Ready to read more? Take a look at our other blogs if you are interested in learning further about dental care.

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Maintaining healthy gums is crucial for overall oral health, but did you know that what you eat can have a significant impact on the health of your gums? Poor nutrition can lead to gum disease, which can cause gum inflammation, bleeding, and even tooth loss. On the other hand, a healthy diet can improve gum health and prevent gum disease.

Let’s explore the link between nutrition and gum health, and provide some tips on the best foods to eat and those to avoid for healthy gums.

The Link Between Nutrition and Gum Health 

The nutrients that we consume play a critical role in our overall health, including the health of our gums. Nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus can all help to strengthen and maintain healthy gums. In contrast, a diet that is high in sugar and carbohydrates can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth that can cause gum disease.

Foods to Include in Your Diet for Healthy Gums 

To improve gum health, it’s essential to eat a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients that are beneficial for the gums. Some examples of foods that are beneficial for gum health include leafy greens like spinach and kale, nuts like almonds and cashews, and dairy products like cheese and milk. These foods are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus, all of which are essential for strong teeth and healthy gums.

healthy eating for oral health

Your Daily Greens

Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are some of the best foods for promoting strong teeth and healthy gums. These greens are packed with essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K, which are crucial for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Calcium is essential for building strong teeth and preventing tooth decay, while magnesium helps to absorb and utilise calcium effectively. Vitamin K is also essential for maintaining healthy gums, as it helps to prevent bleeding and inflammation.

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Don’t Skip The Nuts

Nuts like almonds and cashews are another excellent choice for promoting healthy teeth and gums. Nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats, as well as essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are both essential for strengthening teeth and bones, while magnesium helps to absorb and utilise calcium effectively. Additionally, the chewing motion required to eat nuts can help to stimulate the production of saliva, which can help to wash away harmful bacteria and acids from the mouth.

healthy food|healthy gums|oral health

Strong Teeth with Dairy

Dairy products like cheese and milk are also essential for promoting strong teeth and healthy gums. Dairy products are rich in calcium, which is one of the primary building blocks of healthy teeth and bones. Additionally, dairy products like cheese and milk also contain casein, a type of protein that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. Consuming dairy products regularly can also help to neutralise harmful acids in the mouth, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Foods to Avoid for Healthy Gums 

While some foods are beneficial for gum health, others can be harmful. Sugary foods and drinks, like soda and candy can cause harmful bacteria to grow in the mouth, leading to gum disease. Acidic drinks like citrus juices and sports drinks can also be harmful, as they can erode tooth enamel and lead to gum sensitivity.

When we consume sugary foods and drinks, the bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugars, producing acid as a byproduct. This acid can erode tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay and cavities. If left untreated, tooth decay can progress to the deeper layers of the tooth, leading to more severe dental problems like gum disease.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the tissues and bones that support the teeth. When harmful bacteria in the mouth accumulate and form plaque, it can irritate and inflame the gums, leading to gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, characterised by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that affects the deeper tissues and bones that support the teeth. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss, as the bone that supports the teeth is gradually destroyed by the bacterial infection.

Consuming sugary foods and drinks can also increase the risk of developing other health problems that are linked to gum disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. This is because the inflammation and infection that occur in the gums can spread to other parts of the body, causing systemic inflammation and increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

How to Maintain Good Nutrition for Gum Health

Maintaining good nutrition for gum health is all about balance. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods while avoiding sugary and acidic foods is key. It’s also important to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly and getting regular cleanings and check-ups. Contact our team of periodontists for a professional and specialised check-up and treatment plan to achieve healthy gums.

healthy gums

Start Your Periodontal Journey Today

Maintaining healthy gums starts with good nutrition. By eating a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients that are beneficial for the gums, while avoiding sugary and acidic foods, you can improve your gum health and prevent gum disease. Remember to practice good oral hygiene and visit your periodontist regularly for the best results. Let’s all make healthy dietary choices for better oral health.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), gum disease affects approximately 50% of adults in the UK, making it a prevalent oral health issue. By paying attention to our diets, we can improve our gum health and prevent gum disease, leading to a healthier and happier smile.

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