Gums - sore or bleeding during pregnancy

Brush your teeth and notice blood when you spat out? Bleeding gums can become a regular occurence during pregnancy and you may feel concerned.

Don’t panic because symptoms with your gums and teeth should only last during pregnancy and return to normal postpartum.

Do make sure you take good care of your mouth hygiene and dental health during pregnancy.

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What are typical oral health issues during pregnancy?
  • Gums may become soft, sensitive or swollen during pregnancy.
  • Gums could likely become inflamed – medically termed as Pregnancy Gingivitis.
  • As a result of swelling or inflamation, you may experience bleeding gums.
  • Teeth may move around or even wobble!

Some women experience dry mouth symptoms due to less saliva being produced (see more information around this under Thirst).

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What causes sore, irritated or bleeding gums during pregnancy?

Did you ever hear the old wive’s tale that you loose a tooth with each child? This may well have been true in the past, before we learned more about the importance of good oral hygiene.

  • The increased level of blood in a pregnant body (by up to 50%*) causes gums to soften and become more sensitive, making gums more prone to bleeding whilst brushing or eating.
  • Pregnancy hormones change saliva production, reducing the acidity of saliva which normally attacks plaque build up and bacteria. Which means you could have a lot more bacteria in your mouth during pregnancy.
  • If you are physically sick due to morning sickness, then you will have more acid attacking your teeth. Acid reflux could also be having an impact on your gums, making them feel more sensitive.

Recommendations for treating pregnancy gum problems

    • If you are planning on getting pregnant, visit your dentist so any dental treatment can be carried out before your get pregnant.
    • Get a professional dental check-up during pregnancy.
    • Always make sure you tell your dentist that you are pregnant because there are certain dental procedures which cannot be carried out for a pregnant woman (such as dental xrays).
    • I receommend choosing a toothpaste for sensitive gums, however, ask your dentist directly about which oral care products you should be using.
    • Soft gums means more food getting stuck between your teeth. Always keep a toothpick handy and be sure to floss regularly. To keep your teeth optimally clean you should take time to floss between your teeth at least once daily.
    • Be sure to rinse your mouth out after being sick or during bouts of acid reflux to remove any lingering acid.
    • If you ever wore braces, watch out for your teeth moving back to their original positions – get a retainer before it’s too late.

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