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June 12, 2024

Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy: Essential Information and Guidance for Expectant Mothers 

Bleeding gums during pregnancy is a common issue that many women experience.

This condition, also called pregnancy gingivitis, is caused by pregnancy hormones. Increased levels of progesterone can lead to an increase in the amount of plaque on your teeth, which can then cause your gum tissue to become swollen and bleed.

It is important to address bleeding and swollen gums to avoid any long term, negative side effects such as gum disease.

Symptoms Associated With Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy

Some symptoms that may be associated with bleeding gums in pregnancy include:

  • Swollen or tender gums: Gums that are swollen or red in colour may be a sign of inflammation or infection.
  • Bleeding during brushing or flossing: Bleeding gums, particularly during brushing or flossing, may indicate gingivitis or periodontal disease.
  • Receding gums: As gums become more inflamed, they may pull away from the teeth, making them appear longer.
  • Persistent bad breath: Bad breath that persists even with good oral hygiene may be a sign of an underlying oral health issue, such as gum disease.
  • Loose or shifting teeth: As gum disease progresses, it can cause the teeth to become loose or shift in the mouth.

Practising good oral hygiene will help minimise bleeding, strengthen gums and fight mild gum inflammation and avoid any long term dental problems.

Periodontal Disease During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormonal changes can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease, a chronic gum inflammation condition that affects the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. This can be problematic, as research has shown that pregnant women with periodontal disease may be at a higher risk of giving birth prematurely or having low birth weight babies.

The reason for this is that the bacteria associated with periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to the uterus, potentially causing inflammation and inducing early labour.

Preventing Periodontal Disease

To prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy, it’s important to establish good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash.

It’s also recommended that you visit your dentist for a check-up and professional cleaning during pregnancy to keep an eye on your oral health and address any gum disease early. If you have periodontal disease during pregnancy, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line.

Oral Health Care For Pregnant Women

Many women experience morning sickness while pregnant in their first trimester, sometimes leading into the second or third trimester and unfortunately it has an impact on your oral health. When you vomit, the stomach acid can erode the enamel on your teeth, leading to tooth sensitivity, cavities, and gum problems.

To maintain good oral health during pregnancy, especially if you experience morning sickness, there are some things you can do:

  • Rinse your mouth with water after vomiting to help neutralise the acid and wash it away from your teeth.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after vomiting to avoid brushing away the softened enamel.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your tooth enamel.
  • Drinking plenty of water can keep your mouth hydrated and flush away harmful bacteria.

Remember, taking care of your oral health during pregnancy is crucial for both your own health and that of your developing baby. If you experience severe morning sickness, talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for you.

Maintaining Oral Health While Pregnant

Here are a few things you can do to help alleviate bleeding gums and during pregnancy and help fight pregnancy gingivitis:

  • Practise good oral hygiene: Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and use dental floss daily to remove plaque and food particles that can irritate your gums.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: A soft toothbrush can help avoid further irritation to your gums.
  • Rinse with saltwater: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Eat a healthy diet: Eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, which can help improve gum health.
  • Try to avoid sugary foods or drinks, or rinse your mouth with warm water after consuming sweet foods to keep your mouth healthy and avoid tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important during pregnancy to monitor any changes in your oral health and to prevent any potential problems.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing severe bleeding or pain it is important to speak with your healthcare provider or dentist as soon as possible to rule out any underlying dental or medical issues.

If you have a bleeding gum problem or any other related dental issues during your pregnancy, Get in touch with our team at Kensington Dental Care to find out how we can help you manage your dental health during your pregnancy.

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