Pregnancy comes with many symptoms and bleeding gums is just another one to worry about…
Fortunately, since you are that watchful mom who is on top of your game, you will know how to take care of these symptoms so they don’t affect baby and you.
Bleeding gums – Pregnancy hormones at work
Pregnant mothers do often experience bleeding gums when they brush their teeth or do flossing. This is a sign that pregnancy hormones are at work in your body, especially if you did not have the problem before. These are healthful hormones however, that seek to protect and support the development of the baby growing in you. But they do not seem to work unless they cause some symptomatic effects on mothers. These hormones cause inflammation of your gum leaving them red, swollen, sore and tender, bleeding easily when brushing or flossing. This can give rise to what is often termed pregnancy gingivitis that makes you vulnerable to bacteria and plaque and tooth decay.
Another activity that may cause your gum to bleed when you brush your teeth is the presence of a nodule or small growth on the gum. This is a rare condition that is called a pregnancy tumor otherwise known as pyogenic granuloma. Yes, anything that has that ending is frightening. However, pyogenic granuloma is a painless, benign but rare condition that if occurs will go away like other symptoms after birth. If you seem to develop this bump however, and it is causing discomforts when you eat or excessive bleeding when you brush, ask your dentist to check it for you. It is something that may safely be removed.
Caring for bleeding gums during pregnancy
Be aware – There are several simple measures that you can take to achieve good oral care during your pregnancy. Bleeding gums is hardly anything to worry too much about however, and the symptoms will most likely go away after your baby is born. Every effort should be made to get proper oral care during pregnancy as the problem could get worse. Gingivitis if left untreated can lead to a more serious issue known as periodontitis. This condition causes the gum to move away from the teeth, sometimes causing them to fall out. Research has also linked periodontitis to low birth weight in babies, the risk of premature birth and also preeclampsia. More premature babies born at 32 weeks are born to mothers with severe periodontitis.
Practice good oral hygiene – Brush your teeth at least twice per day. This is even more important if you are overcome with morning sickness. Brushing will reduce the amount of bacteria that builds up in your mouth after all the vomiting you do. Ensure that you brush your tongue also. A lot of bacteria can build up in this area. In addition, do daily floss; you will be surprised at how clean your mouth can feel after you’ve done this simple hygienic activity.
Use good tools – Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush which is not old. Doctors recommend that you change your toothbrush every three months. Ensure also that you brush with fluoride toothpaste. Back up your brushing with a non-alcoholic fluoridated mouth rinse to control some of the bacteria.
Be gentle on your teeth – You should brush your teeth thoroughly but not aggressively as many persons do. Aggressive brushing is harsh on your teeth and will only further inflame the gums and push them away from the base of your teeth. Gums help protect the nerve root of your teeth from exposure which can cause pain. Be gentle when flossing also as when done roughly, it can damage sensitive tissues of the gum. If uncertain about brushing, ask your dentist who may be able to provide you with video or other images to demonstrate.
See your dentist – Try to visit your dentist at least once while you are pregnant. If you had periodontal problems prior to being pregnant, you may need to see him more often since your pregnancy could worsen the condition. Your dentist will schedule you for a proper cleaning to remove plaque and tartar which are usually home to bacteria. Let your doctor know however that you are pregnant and how far along you are. You should not seek to arrange any service that requires anesthesia or X-Ray. These can be hazardous to the baby.
Do not smoke – If you smoke any at all seek to give up the habit. Nicotine in tobacco is a major cause of the buildup of tartar on your teeth.
Keep blood sugar down – You may not know but diabetes seems to foster conditions for gingivitis and gum disease. Gum diseases are more common in people with diabetes. What’s more, while controlling diabetes can improve gum conditions, treating gum conditions can also improve your diabetes. It will serve you well therefore to reduce your high blood sugar levels if you are diabetic.
Eat right – While all other nutrients are important to the health of your pregnancy, vitamin C is a vital element in strengthening your immune system and reducing incidents of gum diseases. Vitamin C strengthens the gum and prevents it from bleeding.
Watch what you eat also – Skip the sweet and sugary products especially those of the chewy type. They should be avoided particularly when you are not able to clean your teeth after eating them. Be reminded also that dried fruits carry a lot of sugar, and because of their chewy nature, tend to stick in the crevasses of your teeth. If you are going to eat these, make sure you compliment them with lots of nut.
Bleeding gums is common to pregnant women. It is important that you treat the condition however so that it does not develop and follow you after you have had your baby. The important thing is to see your dentist who will provide you with the proper guidance to deal with the problem. Find and use simple and natural ways also to help relieve the problem. Just changing certain habits like not smoking and eating right can go a far way in enhancing the condition of your gum.