Yes, it can happen. Bleeding gums in pregnancy can be one of the bad side effects of carrying a baby in your womb!
In fact, pregnancy gingivitis is a very common pregnancy symptom or side effect: almost half of future mummies will experience swollen gums in pregnancy.
And why does it happen? Well, there is an explanation. Bleeding gums in pregnancy are a consequence of pregnancy gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. Anybody can have gingivitis, and, in fact, it is a common affliction related to teeth. However, the cause of gingivitis during pregnancy may be related to the pregnancy hormones, according to experts.
While we are expecting, the hormonal changes can make us more sensitive and vulnerable towards plaque, which can cause gingivitis and ultimately bleeding gums in pregnancy. Fortunately, there are certain things that we can do about it. Don’t miss the following lines if you’re experience this side effect!
Should I be worried about bleeding gums in pregnancy?
In a nutshell, no, bleeding gums during pregnancy isn’t a reason to worry. In some severe cases, gingivitis during pregnancy can be one of the causes that lead to preterm labour, but if your gums are swollen but under control, both you and your baby will be fine.
You may have heard that there is also a link between gingivitis in pregnancy and preeclampsia and low birth weight. It’s true that there are studies who prove this link, but there are other studies that refute it. Anyway, this link, if it exists, it would also be with a severe case of pregnancy gingivitis. If your case is severe, call your doctor or midwife right away.
What can I do about bleeding gums in pregnancy?
The most important thing you can do if you suffer from pregnancy gingivitis is to keep an excellent oral hygiene. To do so, make sure to:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and do it softly but in detail. Spend as much time as you need doing it. Many dentists advise to play a song that you like and that is around 4 minutes long, and brush until it’s over. This way, you make sure to spend enough time brushing.
- Brush your tongue: Yes, brushing your tongue is as important as brushing the actual gums and the teeth. It will help maintain the general hygiene in your mouth, and thus help with swollen gums.
- Floss: flossing is always important, but it is even more essential if you have bleeding gums in pregnancy. Sometimes, our teeth may feel clean but there may still be some food between our teeth and our gums. This can contribute to irritate them even more, and the only way of solving it is flossing!
- Rinse: You can use an alcohol-free fluoridated rinse after brushing, especially if you’re suffering from morning sickness. The acids in the stomach can make gingivitis worse.
- Do a check-up at the dentist: if you need something done in your teeth, being pregnant isn’t a reason to postpone it. Just tell your dentist that you are with child so they can take the necessary precautions.
- Eat well: Avoid sweets or sugared drinks, since they can hurt your teeth and make your gingivitis worse.
If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, you can chew on a sugarless chewing gum.
Even if pregnancy gingivitis is fairly common and normal, you should go to the dentist if you’re in pain or your gums are bleeding excessively or too swollen. If you feel other symptoms, such as bad breath, bleeding nodules or loosening teeth, call the dentist as well.
Now you know that bleeding gums in pregnancy aren’t a cause to worry: You will be fine, and it will probably go away once your pregnancy is over and you have your baby in your arms. Just remember to brush your teeth carefully after you eat, and to call your dentist if the swelling seems serious.