Gingivitis is superficial inflammation of the gingiva without destruction of the periodontal ligament or bone, which distinguishes it from periodontitis. Pregnancy-related gingivitis affects 25-75% of pregnant women and likely occurs because immunosuppression and hormonal changes alter the body's response to bacterial plaque.


  • Mild gum swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Erythema
  • Bleeding gums when brushing
  • Typically identified in the second month and peaks in the eighth month


  • Plaque buildup from poor oral hygiene triggers gingival inflammation.
  • Changes in hormone levels as a result of puberty, pregnancy, and diabetes can magnify the gingival response to plaque, resulting in increased gingivitis.
  • During the second trimester, there is a shift from predominant periodontal pathogens to destructive anaerobes, which frequently results in gingival inflammation.
  • Decrease in cellular immunity during pregnancy exacerbates this process.

Preventive Measures & Treatment

  • Maintaining excellent oral hygiene through frequent brushing and flossing.
  • Regular dental visits to monitor oral hygiene and to reinforce appropriate home care.

Mild Gingivitis

Judith Skelton, MEd, PhD
Judith Skelton, MEd, PhD

Moderately Severe Gingivitis

John McDowell, DDS
John McDowell, DDS


Barak S, Oettinger-Barak O, Oettinger M, Machtei EB, Peled M, Ohel G. Common oral manifestations during pregnancy: A review. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey 2003;58(9):624-628.

Boggess KA. Maternal Oral Health in Pregnancy. Obstet and Gynecol. 2008; 111(4):976-986.