15 weeks

Q&A: Are Swollen, Bleeding Gums A Pregnancy Symptom?

My gums are so sore and I’m bleeding a lot when I brush my teeth. Is this related to my pregnancy? And what should I do about it?

From swollen boobs to swollen gums, rising hormone levels leave no stone unturned. During your second trimester, your gums may become tender, swollen and unusually sensitive. This tenderness is normal, but if your gums become bright red, extremely sore and bleed very easily, talk to your doctor or dentist — you might have pregnancy gingivitis. Left untreated, it can become a more serious condition called periodontitis, linked to premature and low-birthweight babies.

So what can you do? Follow that same simple regimen you've heard the dentist recommend since childhood: Brush and floss at least twice a day. Avoid sweets, especially chewy ones, and up your calcium and Vitamin C intake. Switch to a softer brush, and keep bacteria away by brushing your tongue every day. It’s also a good idea to pay a visit to your dentist during pregnancy — just make sure to mention your condition and avoid X-ray exposure. And, don't worry... your gums should return to normal soon after delivery.

By Paula Kashtan