Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy

image001Most of the pregnant women do not care about their bleeding or swollen gums which are a physiological symptom of pregnancy with pathological consequences on the baby and the mother. According to National Women’s Health Information Centre, a bleeding gum of a mother can become the reason of death of her stillborn baby. This is due to numerous bacterial agents that may gain access into the blood stream of pregnant mommy via bleeding gums. However, this does not happen with most of pregnant women as they follow safety measures to ensure their baby’s well-being. It is important to learn all necessary actions to prevent and manage bleeding gums during pregnancy to avoid placing their unborn in danger.

Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy—Is It Normal?

During pregnancy, a woman may experience red, swollen, tender gums which may bleed while brushing or doing flossing. It is a common complaint and half of the pregnant women face these symptoms due to the condition--pregnancy gingivitis. In this condition, a pregnant woman can feel her inflamed gums due to changes in hormones which make the gums more sensitive to bacteria present in plaque. It is seen that a benign nodule also develops over gums which bleeds while brushing. This is a rare nodule termed as pyogenic granuloma or pregnancy tumor. It is a harmless and painless tumor which can erupt anywhere on the body during pregnancy; most common site of occurrence is oral cavity.

A pregnancy tumor can be up to three quarter inches in size and erupt mostly in areas which are affected with gingivitis. As soon as the pregnant woman delivers her baby, the tumor disappears spontaneously, but if they do not, then it should be removed manually. Moreover, it can also be removed during pregnancy if it is causing pain, bleed excessively or interfere while brushing or chewing.

How to Stop Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy?

Brushing teeth regularly can help in the optimal management of bleeding gums during pregnancy. Choose a soft brush for your teeth and use toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. Remember to brush between teeth and avoid rinsing after brushing; this will decrease the desensitizing effect of toothpaste. Plaque (food, bacteria and saliva) coated teeth makes them more prone towards bleeding. To decrease this plaque, you can take the following measures:



Brush teeth twice a day

Brushing teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes with fluoride tooth paste is healthy for teeth.

Use electric rechargeable brushes

Electric rechargeable brushes are comparatively more effective than manual brushes in reducing the gums swelling. It has a timer with small oscillating and rotating head.

Cleaning between the teeth thrice a week

It is helpful for removing trapped food and plaque. It will also decrease gum bleeding. For removing plaque and food which lodges between teeth, use dental floss or interdentally brushes.

Quit smoking

Smoking can worsen gum disease.

Keep blood sugar level in control

Diabetic pregnant women should keep their blood sugar level in control and should visit their dentist regularly. Gum disease and gingivitis are a common problem for diabetic patients.

Using mouthwash two times per day

Ask your dentist to recommend a mouthwash which is safer to use for you during pregnancy. Mouthwashes which have antiseptic chlohexidine are safe to use for a month, but it can stain tongue and teeth, so do brushing before using it. Avoid using it if you are allergic to chlohexidine.

Visit your dentist

Regularly visit your dentist.

When to See a Dentist

Immediately see your dentist if your gums feel tender or bleeding. It is the duty of a dental hygienist to treat the tender gums and to polish and scale teeth. He/She will also give advice and explain methods for caring teeth. However, before starting any treatment, do not forget to inform your doctor about your pregnancy. Taking local anesthesia for dental work is safe during pregnancy.

If you are looking to get answers to your queries about bleeding gums during pregnancy, here is a video that may help:

Can Bleeding Gums Cause Other Problems?

If gingivitis is not treated properly, it can cause periodontitis. This disease weakens the bone and tissues which anchor the teeth in the jaw bone. It is important to consult the dentist for halting the damages of periodontitis; otherwise, the gums and teeth can get worse. The gums get infected and then pus filled sacs develops on them. It further damages the bone and ligament at teeth’s base. It also enlarges the pockets between teeth and gums and then teeth starts to loosen its base and falls out. This is usually seen in advanced stages of periodontitis and occurs only if the problem is left untreated.

A pregnant woman can easily prevent and limit this condition by keeping gums and teeth clean and by visiting a dentist regularly for root planning and scaling. This treatment discards all the tarter present and makes the base of teeth smooth.

Will Gum Diseases Affect My Baby?

In pregnancy, there is no clear evidence that gum disease can affect directly the health of a new born. However the general health of a mother does matter a lot to the baby. If a pregnant mother is experiencing difficulty in staying healthy, this situation can affect her baby’s growth. According to the thinking of some experts, there is a link between:

  • Periodontitis and premature babies
  • Periodontitis and low birth weight babies
  • Periodontitis and certain pregnancy complications

This might be the result of gum diseases which cause bacteria and inflammation. However, this is not 100 percent true as different studies about gum diseases have concluded different findings. Try to focus on having healthy diet and happy life as this can deliver a healthy baby. If anything worries you, consulting with a health care provider is a better option. She/He will arrange an appointment with a dentist who will guide you properly about caring teeth and making them healthy.