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Paula Kashtan

Swollen Or Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy

Your belly and breasts aren't the only things that swell during pregnancy. Here's how to treat those swollen, sensitive gums.

From swollen breasts 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.