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Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy: Should You Worry?

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Congratulations, you're pregnant! You're about to experience love as you've never experienced it before. You're also going to experience a few other emotions, pains, and other symptoms you've never experienced before too. One condition that may surprise you is bleeding gums. If you weren't expecting this development, it could be a bit concerning. But bleeding gums during pregnancy isn't something to worry too much about. However, you should take some important steps to control it for your own comfort and peace of mind.

Why Do Your Gums Bleed During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is one of five stages in a woman's life in which hormonal changes make you more susceptible to oral health problems. They explain that when you're pregnant, your higher progesterone levels make you more susceptible to gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease caused by bacteria that's built up around your gumline and has turned into plaque (a soft, sticky, colorless film). Pregnancy gingivitis can leave your gums tender and swollen, which is why they often bleed when you brush and floss.

What Complications Can Arise From Gingivitis?

Gingivitis doesn't only affect pregnant women. According to the statistics published in the Journal of Dental Research, nearly half of adults over 30 in the US (47.1 percent to be exact) have some form of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. This more severe form of gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen or even fall out. Periodontal diseases in pregnant women are risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes like:

  • Preterm birth
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Low birth weight
  • Pre‐eclampsia
  • And gestational diabetes

That's why it's important to practice good oral hygiene and make regular visits with your dental professional when you are pregnant. Give them a call to find out how many visits they recommend for your individual needs.

What Can You Do About Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy?

Proper oral care before, during, and after your pregnancy will help prevent these issues and keep your baby as healthy as possible while they're in your belly and after delivery.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Brush at least twice a day.
  • Don't forget to brush your tongue.
  • Clean between your teeth with floss, a water flosser, or an interdental brush.
  • Use an antimicrobial mouth rinse.
  • Use a tongue scraper.
  • Visit your dental professional.

Your dental professional will be able to monitor the health of your teeth and gums for any developing conditions, including gingivitis, and will be able to offer you tips and guidance to keep your bleeding to a minimum. If you notice a lot of blood on your toothbrush or when you spit, call your dental professional and let them know. They will probably schedule an appointment as a safety precaution to ensure you don't have a more serious condition.

If you have gingivitis symptoms while you're pregnant, don't worry, it's actually pretty common. Just be sure to take the necessary steps to keep it under control and keep in touch with your dental professional. Together, you can discuss the best options tailored specifically to your individual needs, and you'll be able to feel great about having a healthy baby and a future of oral health that will make you smile.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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