It’s 5 in the morning and you head right to the kitchen, carrying your tiny one in the belly. You’re hungry and you open the fridge. And right at the edge lays a green apple. You take the first bite and notice blood at the first munch. Do you wash the blood off and continue eating or do you pay a dental visit instead?
Many women may experience sensitive and bleeding gums during pregnancy. It occurs in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. The increasing levels of hormones in the bloodstream give rise to inflamed gums. It makes the gums swell and turn red. As a result, many women struggle with brushing and flossing.
Pregnancy gingivitis is usually harmless, but if it isn’t treated, your teeth decay even further. It then leads to Periodontitis which weakens the bones that keep the teeth attached to the bone. Treating periodontitis at a later stage of pregnancy can be dangerous. It can increase the risk of pre-term labor and can develop high blood pressure.
Your gums are a crucial sign when getting pregnant. The oral microbiome is your toolkit for creating a healthy baby. And the minute the conception occurs, bacteria in the gut and mouth begin to prepare your body for pregnancy.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
One of the most important factors in a child’s oral health is a mother’s teeth. And it is all directed by the maternal gut microbiome. Your gut microbiome is like the big bang of an unborn child’s dental health. Let’s look at why.
Gut bacteria are responsive to sex hormones. That’s why we see a difference in bleeding gums during menstruation and menopause.
At conception, sex hormones result in an immense change in the maternal gut microbiome. They help prepare your body for pregnancy. Pregnancy microbiome shifts over the three trimester periods. Bleeding gums during pregnancy is a normal thing. But if there’s too much of it, gums get infected.
Gum disease indicates low birth weight and belly burst. Pregnant women are 40% more likely to have gum disease than others. It is this microbiome that passes on to your child. It is an intricate response that continues throughout a child’s life.
Maternal microbiome continues to nurture the child’s microbiome through breastfeeding and saliva transfer.
Changes in Diet
Pregnant women may experience changes in their diet. They eat healthy at most times but crave their favorite ice cream too. And with the changing hormones, pregnant women may not be eating right.
Delayed Response to Morning Sickness
During your pregnancy, you may experience morning sickness and vomiting. And the effects on your teeth may appear much later. Your teeth and gums will have less-than-pleasant acid baths.
New Finicky Senses
Pregnant women may be sensitive to the smell or taste of mint. They may avoid brushing altogether. But studies conducted may provide reasons to understand why pregnant women avoid brushing.
So, What Can You Do About It?
Visit the Dentist
Visiting your dentist at least once is important to avoid bleeding gums during pregnancy. The dentist cleans and checks your teeth and looks for signs of tender gums. When you visit the clinic, make sure you let your dentist know that you’re pregnant. They’ll take extra care of you by avoiding X-rays and treatments that may need anesthesia.
Nourish Your Teeth
You know you’ll be eating a lot more when getting pregnant. And there’s a higher chance food debris will persist to survive in and around your teeth. But that’s if you don’t clean your mouth right.
All mothers-to-be should remember to brush and floss twice a day! Make sure to be extra careful around your gums and teeth. Your mouth is a lot more sensitive during pregnancy so brush with care. If mint-based toothpaste makes you gag, switch your toothpaste to a fruit-flavored one. But if they don’t work too, ask your dentist to recommend you one.
Rinse it Out
Dentists generally recommend a non-alcoholic mouthwash to round up your oral care. It can reduce the bacterial plaque in your mouth to a large extent and avoid bleeding gums during pregnancy.
Vitamin C is essential when you’re on a journey to becoming a mom. It’ll ensure you stay strong and healthy.Load up your handbag with plenty of oranges, kiwis, and strawberries and have them on the go. Make a salad. Load it with lots of red and yellow peppers, broccoli, and all the dark green veggies. You need to keep up with a good diet when dealing with pregnancy hormones.
Chew More if You Can’t Brush Much
Having trouble brushing after a meal? Fret not! You can eat a little more instead! Keep some nuts and cubes of cheese handy. Let that be your go-to cleanser when brushing doesn’t work.
Floss Like a Pro
Flossing won’t seem like much of task now, would it? We’ve mentioned it more than a couple of times now. And we encourage you to put it to practice. Leave some near your bathroom sink and carry some with you wherever you go. Floss right after a meal. Investing in oral care products is crucial to ensure a healthy mouth.
Dental diseases begin way before we see a hole in our tooth. We need to understand the crucial role of food and microbes that affect our entire body. Make sure you visit the dentist to prevent bleeding gums during pregnancy.
If you’re a to-be mom and are due for your yearly dental check-up, book an appointment with Dr. Michael Long, DDS today for a cost-effective and comprehensive assessment for your teeth.