Have you experienced swollen gums during pregnancy?

Studies show links between gum disease and pregnancy. You might not be aware changes happening in your mouth but around 60% of pregnant women complain of swollen gums during their pregnancy. This might not happen suddenly, but gradually. Its not a panicky situation – but also don’t forget to maintain good oral hygiene. Here are some signs you may notice.

What is pregnancy gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the inflammation of your gums. The reason behind pregnancy related gum inflammation is the fluctuation game of the hormones. ‘Progesterone’ increases which further increases the blood flow to your gums and makes you more susceptible to bacterial attack. Thus, you may notice puffy, swollen and bleeding gums during your pregnancy. This is called as Pregnancy gingivitis. It is more commonly seen during 2nd and 8th month of pregnancy but more severe during 2nd trimester. There is also a link between gum disease and premature birth. The gingivitis (infection of the gums ) further progresses to the periodontal disease(infection of the gums and surrounding bone) so it is always better to visit your dentist as early as possible.

What is causing bleeding and swollen gums?

Hormonal changes are to be blamed here. The hormonal fluctuations make your mouth more susceptible to plaque build up. You also start experiencing morning sickness with vomiting. This acid reflux will lower the pH of the saliva in the mouth and will lead to more bacterial and plaque production. Changes in your eating habits such as eating more sweets and carbs will definitely create a friendly environment for plaque and cavities. So how do you know if your gums are in trouble during these times? Look for these signs

  • Swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush
  • Tender, puffy gums
  • Bad breath
  • More reddish appearance of your gums

To treat bleeding gums during pregnancy times, you can either try massaging your gums gently which will give you temporary relief and get a teeth cleaning by a professional dentist during the 2nd trimester.

What is a Pregnancy tumor?

Don’t worry – It is not cancerous or contagious. It appears as a red lump on your gums, most frequently on the upper gum line. Hence it is often called the pregnancy gum tumor. It is mostly associated with poor oral hygiene, local minor injury to the gums and hormonal alterations.
It develops in upto 5%-10% pregnancies, usually develops in the first trimester more often in the 3rd month and gradually increases in size during the 7th month.
This overgrowth or red lump has a tendency to bleed and it interferes with mastication. Pregnancy tumors usually disappear on their own after birth of the baby. However, if the tumor is causing more discomfort, your dentist may choose to remove it after the termination of pregnancy. 

Home remedies for swollen gums during pregnancy

  • Visit your dentist – Make sure you visit your dentist at least twice during your pregnancy. Depending upon the severity of your gum disease dentist will prescribe you oral antibiotics that fight bacterial infection. 
  • Brush twice daily for 2 minutes with soft bristled tooth brush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss once a day to remove small bits of food particles stuck between two teeth, which will help in preventing plaque build up.
  • Avoid having sugary drinks and foods – try to limit them to meal times.
  • Use antimicrobial mouthwash – avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Rinse with warm salt water twice daily  as this reduces the bacteria in the mouth. Dilute 1 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of warm water. It will reduce the gum inflammation.
  • Teeth cleaning procedure by the dentist should be done to reduce the severity of the gum diseases during the 2nd trimester as this is the safest time to perform any dental treatments.

How can teeth cleaning help ?

Getting a teeth cleaning procedure helps to reduce the severity of the gum diseases by reducing the plaque and tar tar buildup on the teeth. Teeth cleaning also reduces the overall bacterial load in the mouth thereby maintaining a good oral hygiene.


  • Studies show links between poor gum health and premature birth.
  • Pregnant women must maintain a good oral hygiene to avoid an emergency dental treatments.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy are normal but one needs to be careful and take dental precautions.
  • Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can cause gums to inflame and cause pregnancy gingivitis.
  • Another such phenomena is the pregnancy tumor which is nothing but a overgrowth of the gum tissue.
  • Puffy and bleeding gums are common during pregnancy and one can try home remedies to reduce the severity.
  • Home remedies along with a teeth cleaning procedure can be done during the 2nd trimester by a professional dentist.
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Author Bio: Dr. Nikita Sahasrabudhe is a dental surgeon practicing since 2018. She believes in a conservative approach towards dentistry. Her special interests include cosmetic dentistry and prosthetics. She is also a forensic odontologist and contributes to various criminal investigations by using her dental expertise. Apart from this, she is a believer in health over wealth, which she manages by going to the gym, going yoga and traveling.

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