by Jennifer Holtzman, DDS, Executive Director, ToothWoman Network
Q. I've been pregnant, my gums have been tender and bleed when I brush. Is this normal? Should I be concerned?
A. During pregnancy, the levels of hormones in your body are increasing. These heightened levels of hormones encourage your body to increase its blood flow to your all the tissues in your body, including your gums. This increase of blood flow means that any irritations in your gums will result in the gums being swollen and bleeding easily. But if you brush and floss your teeth twice a day, use mouthrinse and clean your tongue you should be able to limit any bleeding and discomfort.
The second trimester is considered the best time to have any dental care. This would be a great time to have your teeth professionally cleaned to get off any hardened material (tartar and calculus) that has accumulated on your teeth and would make it harder for you to keep your gums healthy. Use this visit to review with your dentist how to best keep your mouth clean and healthy.Mothers who have clean and healthy mouths will most likely have children with little tooth decay and gum disease.