Your stomach isn’t the only thing that’s swollen these days. During pregnancy, your gums may be extra tender, swollen, red, sensitive, and prone to bleeding, especially when you brush and floss.
Don’t be alarmed; it’s perfectly normal. Your gums and teeth will most likely return to normal after delivery, but it’s a good idea to improve your oral health now.
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During the second trimester, expect to see a lot of pink on your toothbrush. From around week 15 of pregnancy on, the same pregnancy hormones that cause your mucus membranes to swell and your sinuses to clog inflame your gums, making them more likely to bleed easily.
Several factors could be causing your swollen gums and sore mouth during pregnancy, including:
There is no evidence that mild red or swollen gums harm your baby’s health or cause a miscarriage or premature birth.
But if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis which is linked to preterm delivery and low birth weight. In periodontitis, inflammation causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, leaving pockets that can become infected. Eventually, this can lead to tooth loss.
First and foremost, you have a lot going on, so don’t be too concerned about your gums. However, there are some simple steps you can take right now to address this pregnancy symptom:
Visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy for a check-up and cleaning, but be sure to inform your dentist and hygienist that you are pregnant. They’ll work with you to ensure you get the pregnancy-safe care you require.
As a general rule: Brush for two minutes twice a day and floss on a regular basis. But don’t confuse thoroughness with aggression — your brush should always be labelled “soft,” never “medium” or “hard.” You can brush your teeth with a manual or electric toothbrush, but be gentle. Brushing and flossing too aggressively can make tender gums even more sensitive and prone to bleeding. If the smell of mint bothers you, try a fruit-flavored toothpaste.
Brushing your tongue helps reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, as does brushing your teeth.
Ask your dentist for a non-alcoholic “therapeutic” mouthwash — one that strengthens teeth rather than just freshening your breath — or a rinse you can use daily to reduce bacteria and plaque in your mouth between brushings.
If you have morning sickness while pregnant, make sure to brush — or at least rinse — your teeth and mouth if you’re vomiting. It will not only remove the bad taste in your mouth, but it will also remove the acid and bacteria associated with illness.
Probably. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are just as important during pregnancy as they are at any other time. However, research suggests that some pregnant women avoid going to the dentist. The reasons are that they are already experiencing nausea or acid reflux and don’t want someone sticking something in their mouth, or they have an irrational fear of the effects of dental procedures on their unborn child.
But now is not the time to neglect your oral health. Taking extra care of your choppers and gums during pregnancy ensures that both remain strong and healthy for as long as possible.
Following delivery. While pregnancy does pose some risks to your oral health, if your gums were healthy before you became pregnant, they are likely to be healthy after. In fact, the largest studies show no statistically significant differences in the prevalence of gum disease or cavities between pregnant and non-pregnant women.
Some gum tenderness is normal, but if yours are bright red, very sore, and bleed easily — say, your toothbrush has turned pink, or you’re spitting blood out when you rinse — you may have gingivitis, or mild and relatively harmless gum inflammation.
However, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious but treatable condition that you should inform your practitioner about.
If you notice a nodule on your gums that bleeds when you brush, consult your dentist. It’s probably a canker sore or a pyogenic granuloma, also known as a “pregnancy tumor” despite the fact that it’s completely harmless.
These small, round red bumps appear in about 5 percent of pregnant women, and can actually pop up all over your body during pregnancy — including on your arms, hands and face — but are especially common on your gums. It should usually go away on its own after delivery, but if it becomes particularly bothersome before then, it can usually be surgically removed.
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Dr. Zenaidy Castro love transforming smiles through cosmetic dentistry, and with her vast experience of over 30 years, the care and aesthetic results she provides for all her patients is unmatched. What sets her apart is her careful eye for detail and ensure they have superior results that meet her patients expectations.
She enjoys creating smiles based on the idea that each person is born with a unique smile, and believe that a beautiful smile is not a one-size-fits-all smile design or a an appearance that seems like coming from a single factory manufacturing line.
Dr. Zenaidy Castro will design the smile of your dreams. It is easier than you think! Just give us a call to set up your free aesthetic consultation and see for yourself what we can do to make your smile dreams come true. To learn more about working with Dr. Zenaidy Castro, contact Vogue Smiles Melbourne on 9629-7664.
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