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Bleeding Gums

Symptoms: 

Swelling of the gingival tissue is sometimes accompanied by shiny gums, redness and tenderness.  Bad breath after brushing may also be present. 

Minor bleeding may occur while brushing or flossing teeth or when eating certain abrasive, rough foods.  

Why it happens: 

Estrogen increases blood flow to the mouth and gums causing swelling of the gingival tissue.  Increase of progesterone changes saliva and promotes bacterial growth in the mouth, Bacteria forms plaques on the gums enhancing  a woman's susceptibility to gingivitis in pregnancy.  Increases in small fragile blood vessels, hyperplasia and edema can lead to more susceptibility to minor bleeding.   

Relief Measures: 

Goal is to promote oral health, prevent severe gingivitis and complications related to systemic infection from peridontal disease [PTB, PIH, LBW]. 

  1. Main treatment reducing plaque buildup through dental cleaning and good oral habits.  

  2. Continue a daily flossing and twice daily brushing routine with a softer bristle brush knowing that these dental hygiene activities can stimulate minor and intermittent bleeding that is not of any significance.

  3. Gargle daily with a warm saltwater rinse  [1 tsp of salt to 1 cup of warm water]

  4. Continue on with routine dental care as most dental procedures can and should be done during pregnancy.

  5. Eat a healthy diet. 

  6. Lower your intake of sugary foods and beverages. 

  7. Brush your teeth after eating sticky, sweet foods that cling to your teeth like raisins, dry fruit, gummy fruit snacks or chewy candy.   

  8. Quit smoking or using tobacco products.  

  9. Also see in your client portal ACNM’s Oral Care in Pregnancy.  

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