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Bleeding Gums during Pregnancy? Is it normal?

Many pregnant women experience swollen, red and bleeding gums during pregnancy. It is so common, that there is a popular belief that it is a normal occurrence during this state. You’ve probably heard the saying about losing one tooth for each pregnancy and also about staying away from a dentist or dental hygienist while expecting. Many pregnant ladies expressed this opinion to me. But what science is telling about this?

For a long time, we’ve known that factors such as smoking, alcohol and drug use in pregnancy contribute to prematurely born babies and/or being born at a low birth weight. Now, numerous studies are suggesting that there is a new risk factor: periodontal disease. Pregnant women who have periodontal problems may be up to seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and/or too small.

More research need to be done to confirm how exactly periodontal disease affects pregnancy outcomes. It appears that low grade oral inflammation triggers the increase of biological fluids that may induce labor.

The best way to prevent the problems is to see your Dental Hygienist regularly, especially before and during pregnancy and as soon as you experience bleeding on brushing or flossing.

Gingivitis and Periodontitis are infectious and opportunistic. That means you can transfer this bacteria to other people and it can become invasive when the immune system is down.

Let’s not ignore the bleeding gums.

Let’s be alarmed when seeing bleeding on brushing or flossing.

Warning signs:

  • bleeding gums when brushing or flossing

  • gums are red, swollen or tender

  • gums are pulled away from the teeth (periodontal pockets/recession)

  • pus between the teeth/gums

  • permanent teeth are loose or separating

  • persistent bad breath

If one or more signs apply to you bring it to the attention of your Dental Hygienist


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