Should you be wor­ried?

‘I’m 24 weeks preg­nant and my gums won’t stop bleed­ing – is this nor­mal?’

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

Den­tist Sameer Pa­tel says

“Hav­ing sensitive gums dur­ing preg­nancy is more com­mon than you think – bleed­ing gums gen­er­ally are a sign of in­flam­ma­tion, as the gums are try­ing to cleanse them­selves by bleed­ing. When you’re preg­nant, the oe­stro­gen and pro­ges­terone lev­els are raised sig­nif­i­cantly which has the ef­fect of in­creas­ing blood ves­sels within the uterus – this can also oc­cur in the gums, mak­ing them more sus­cep­ti­ble to bleed­ing, but preg­nancy gin­givi­tis is re­versible.” “Bleed­ing gums can be dis­con­cert­ing and painful, but it’s pos­si­ble to limit the bleed­ing by brush­ing your teeth more reg­u­larly as the film of saliva, bac­te­ria and food that coats your teeth (plaque) be­tween clean­ing, can make your gums more prone to bleed­ing. It’s best to use a soft brush with a flu­o­ride tooth­paste when you brush your teeth. I rec­om­mended in­creas­ing the brush­ing time from two to four min­utes to en­sure your teeth are cleaned thor­oughly. Try not to rinse af­ter brush­ing, as this will re­duce the de­sen­si­tis­ing ef­fect of the tooth­paste – and re­mem­ber to floss your teeth be­fore brush­ing, as this will help to re­move plaque or any trapped food which your tooth­brush can’t reach.” “It can also help to see your den­tist or hy­gien­ist more reg­u­larly dur­ing preg­nancy – they will be able to help spot any prob­lems associated with gin­givi­tis and a pro­fes­sional hy­gien­ist will be avail­able to scale and pol­ish your teeth and treat your ten­der gums. Rins­ing with a salt so­lu­tion can help to re­duce ten­der­ness.”

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