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22 July 2014

I am pregnant and my gums are bleeding a lot…help!

If you are currently pregnant and have had no previous history of gum disease but suddenly experienced bleeding, sensitive gums, there’s no cause for panic. Gingivitis, which refers to bleeding, sensitive gums, is relatively common during pregnancy. More often than not, pregnancy hormones are responsible for causing your gums to swell and become inflamed. This makes them highly sensitive when you brush and clean between your teeth, hence, the tendency for bleeding.

Even though your gums are bleeding, there’s no reason to stop regular brushing. In fact, regular brushing can even help ease the sensitivity. If your teeth are still ultra sensitive, use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste especially formulated for sensitive teeth and gums. Continue with your normal dental hygiene routine by brushing at least twice daily, and brushing between your teeth. Do not rinse immediately after brushing to prolong the desensitising effect of the toothpaste.

Plaque, or food, saliva, and bacteria that coats your teeth and builds up between professional cleaning is also one reason that contributes to sensitive gums that’s prone to bleeding. See your dentist to find out if this is the case.

Prolonged gingivitis, if untreated, can cause periodontitis. Periodontitis is the weakening of the bone and tissue that keeps your teeth connected to your jaw. If periodontitis is not treated immediately, it will lead to damaged teeth and gums and would only get progressively worse from that point on. What would happen is that your gums could get infected and develop abscesses—pus-filled sacs that are painful and sensitive. Next, your gums could separate from your teeth. Finally, the damage would reach the bone and ligaments at the base of your teeth.

If you have gum disease while pregnant, there has been no definitive evidence so far that proves it can directly affect your baby’s health in utero. However, this still indicates that one aspect of your general health isn’t doing as well as it should, and this could affect your overall condition, level of comfort, and even your mood during pregnancy. Consult your dentist on how to best treat your gum disease in a safer way while carrying your child.

Here are some basic tips for dental health for pregnant women:

  • Continue to see your dentist regularly, and whenever there’s a problem with your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth for two minutes daily—once in the morning and again before going to bed.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste, or toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth and gums if they’re tender.
  • Use a mouthwash twice a day that’s safe for sensitive teeth and gums, and for pregnant women.

Nevertheless, whether pregnant or not, if you feel that your gums are tender and see them bleeding, see your dentist immediately. Remember that if you have any problem with your teeth, you don’t have to wait for the next scheduled check-up to consult your dentist. You can also see your dental hygienist since they are licensed to do scaling and polishing of your teeth. They can also check and treat tender gums. You can also ask them for advice on how to care for highly sensitive gums and teeth.

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