Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is not only your tummy that swells but your gums might also become swollen, tender, sensitive and likely to bleed. It is important to have a frequent oral care for the sake of your baby, and also to avoid getting bleeding gums during your pregnant days.

Is It Normal to Have Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy?

Bleeding gums is a normal occurrence during your pregnancy. Half of expectant mothers will get tender gums that bleed when brushed or flossed. This bleeding is caused by a mild form of gingivitis called pregnancy gingivitis. The hormonal changes make your gums more sensitive to bacteria found in the plague, and thus they become inflamed.

Will Bleeding Gums Lead to Other Problems?

If gingivitis goes untreated, it could lead to periodontitis. This will make the bone and tissue that anchor your teeth firmly in your jaw to weaken. If dental care is not sought to stop the damage resulting from periodontitis, your gums and teeth will continue getting worse. Your gums might get infections leading to abscesses (pus filled sacs), and they will come away with your teeth. The bone and ligament at the base of the teeth will be destroyed. The pockets that form between your teeth and gums will widen. Your teeth will become looser, and eventually a tooth or two will fall off. However, this will only happen if you let the condition go untreated. To ensure that the condition does not get worse, visit the dentist for root planning and scaling, and make sure you keep your gums and teeth clean. This will ensure that tartar does not build up, and the base of your teeth is smooth.

Will Your Baby Be Influenced by Gum Disease?

There is no evidence that bleeding gums during pregnancy will affect the health of your unborn child. However, it could be an indication that your general health is not at its best. Your health affects the growth of your baby.

Some experts suspect there is a relationship between periodontitis and:

  • Premature babies
  • Low birth weight babies
  • Other complications during pregnancy

The bacteria and inflammation that result from the gum disease might be the cause of the above. However, it is not possible to prove this as various studies have varying results.

If you have an unhealthy diet and are stressed at home maybe because of finances, you are likely to have a premature baby. Financial constrains can contribute to poor dental care and not having adequate money to live and eat healthy.

Consult your midwife if you are worried about your health. She can assist in getting free dental care as well as registering you for free antenatal classes. She will also give you advice on how to stay healthy.

What About Nodules on Gum?

A benign nodule might develop on your gums and bleed when you brush your teeth. It is a rare nodule called pyogenic granuloma or pregnancy tumor- these scary terms should not worry you as it is painless and harmless. 

The area that has gingivitis is likely to grow a pregnancy tumor that can grow up to ¾ of an inch. Normally, it will disappear after you deliver. If it does not, it should be removed. If it is troublesome when chewing and brushing or bleeds too much, it can be removed during pregnancy.

How to Take Care of Your Teeth During Pregnancy

1.   Check Your Teeth

To avoid having bleeding gums during pregnancy, ensure you visit your dentist for cleaning and checkup at least once in your pregnancy. You should also mention to your dentist that you are pregnant and avoid any dental job that will require anesthesia and x-rays. If you get any of the following symptoms ensure that you see your dentist:

  • Painful and frequently bleeding gums
  • Toothache
  • Other symptoms of gum disease such as loosening teeth, receding gums, swollen tender gums and persistent bad breath
  • Tumors in the mouth, painful or not, and if they are causing any other symptom

2.   Brush and Floss

Ensure that you brush and floss your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day. Ensure that you are not hurting yourself in the process. Use a soft brush as a tough brush can injure sensitive gums and rough flossing can damage sensitive tissues. What’s more, not only do your teeth need cleaning, but your tongue as well. This will help reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth.

3.   Rinse Your Mouth

If you have morning sickness, ensure that you brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth after vomiting. This will help get rid of the disgusting taste in your mouth as well as the bacteria and acid that flood the mouth when you vomit.

4.   Eat Properly

Ensure that you get lots of vitamin C from your diet. It will decrease the possibilities of bleeding gums as well as strengthen your gums. Ensure you take enough calcium daily as it is good for your bones and teeth.

5.   Avoid Sweets

Do not eat sugary things, more so the chewy type-especially if you will not get a chance to brush your teeth soon after. Remember dried fruits also act as sugar and can stick on your teeth.

6.   Chew a Gum

If you cannot brush after a meal, chew sugarless gum, nuts or some cheese. They all contain antibacterial properties that'll prevent bleeding gums during pregnancy.

 
 
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