Let’s talk about a not so pleasant side effect of pregnancy… Bleeding gums! Nobody likes to see red on their toothbrush after brushing their teeth.
Once your gums become sensitive and you see blood on your toothbrush you immediately think the worst… Gingivitis.
Pregnancy gingivitis is different from regular gingivitis, meaning that once you give birth your gums will stop bleeding.
As you’re breathing a sign of relief, bleeding gums during pregnancy is not fun! So how are you going to treat this miserable symptom?
Thankfully, there are home remedies to help ease both the sensitivity to your gums and stop the bleeding!
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Causes Of Bleeding Gums
When it comes to bleeding gums during pregnancy, blame your hormones!
The hormone progesterone to be precise. Progesterone causes an increase in blood supply to your gums, which in turn causes sensitivity and swelling.
Although you can chalk up hormones to your problems with bleeding gums, there are other causes.
- If you experienced morning sickness with vomiting during your first trimester, that stomach acid could be eating away your enamel of your teeth causing bleeding gums.
- Since pregnancy comes with a host of pregnancy cravings, your diet could have changed suddenly. If you’re craving sweets, those sugary snacks and desserts could help aid to more plague and cavities.
- Due to nausea and a stronger smelling sense you may have developed an aversion to minty toothpaste and floss. With an aversion, your oral care may be lacking. For instance: Brushing only once a day; not flossing; not brushing for long.
Bleeding gums during pregnancy is scary, but the swelling and bleeding should go away after you give birth.
If you practice good oral care throughout the rest of your pregnancy, both you and baby should be unaffected by pregnancy gingivitis.
While it’s not harmful to you or baby, some studies have found a link between gingivitis and preterm birth.
However, the one thing you need to understand about gingivitis and pregnancy complications is that it’s a risk for women with severe gum disease.
With that being said…
Unless you had severe gum disease before you were pregnant, then the risk of preterm labor, preeclampsia and low birth weight are not likely to be caused by pregnancy gingivitis.
Now that you know about the causes and (very slim) complications of bleeding gums during pregnancy, let’s look at natural home remedies to treat pregnancy gingivitis.
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Natural Home Remedies
1. Bump Up Your Oral Care
This makes number one on the list because a good oral care routine is by far the best way to treat bleeding gums during pregnancy.
So how do you go about setting up a good oral routine?
First, if you’re having bleeding gums always schedule a dentist appointment!
A dentist can tell you if your swollen and bleeding gums are due to pregnancy hormones or if you have a bigger issue like periodontal disease.
By making an appointment you can also get help establishing a better oral care routine with advice from your dentist.
-While a dentist appointment is a great start, better oral care begins at home!
You do not have to brush hard. This will only cause more bleeding!
For a more natural alternative to regular toothpaste, try the toothpaste I use, Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Natural Toothpaste.
This toothpaste still has a minty flavor, but it’s not overpowering like the rest on the market.
-Flossing once a day.
I’ll be the first to admit… I really hate flossing! I use floss picks instead of traditional floss that cuts off circulation to your fingers.
But if you’re ultra sensitive to flossing during pregnancy, I’d suggest a switch to a water pick. It’s a much gentler way to floss your teeth!
-Swish your mouth with mouthwash. While there’s many mouthwashes to help get rid of plague buildup, make sure to pick a mouthwash without alcohol!
You can also get a natural mouthwash to go with your natural oral care routine to treat bleeding gums during pregnancy.
2. Rinse Or Brush With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a perfect natural remedy found right in your kitchen!
It helps reduce bleeding gums by neutralizing acids in your mouth.
There are a couple of ways you can go about using this natural remedy:
- Wet your toothbrush with water, dip in baking soda and brush your teeth.
- Brush your teeth with toothpaste and sprinkle on a dab of baking soda.
- Mix water and baking soda in a glass and swish in your mouth.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to kill bacteria causing plague and reduces gum swelling.
Because of this it remains one of the most popular choices for relieving gum issues.
To reduce swelling and bleeding gums with tea tree oil follow this recipe:
4 Drops tea tree oil with 3 oz. of water; rinse your mouth once a day.
4. Add More Calcium To Your Diet
This is a natural remedy to treat problems with your teeth and gums by treating it from the inside out.
During pregnancy you should strive for 1,000 mg’s of calcium per day.
This is easily accomplished by adding a prenatal supplement like PeaPod Cal-Mag that provides calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3.
If you don’t want to add an extra supplement to your diet, just add more calcium-rich foods!
- Milk– 598 mg per serving
- Low fat yogurt– 488 mg per serving
- Parmesan cheese– 800 mg per serving
- Spinach– 245 mg per serving
- Black eyed peas– 211 mg per serving
- Okra– 123 mg per serving
- Firm tofu– 1,721.2 mg per serving
- General Mills Total Raisin Bran– 1,000 mg per serving
- Orange juice with added calcium– 336 mg per serving
You mostly see turmeric in Indian and Asian recipes. But this miracle spice has amazing benefits for your bleeding gums.
Turmeric contains the ingredient curcumin to fight bacterial infections and swelling in the mouth.
To reap the benefits of turmeric, try the following recipe:
- Mix together 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of mustard oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to make a paste.
- Massage your gums with the paste and rinse your mouth with water.
- Use the turmeric paste twice a day.
6. Aloe Vera
Is there nothing aloe vera can’t do for the body?
This incredible plant is also able to relieve swelling and bleeding gums because it is antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial.
The benefits of aloe vera don’t just stop with helping bleeding gums.
For pregnancy, you can choose to massage your gums with fresh aloe vera gel and rinse your mouth after half an hour.
Another option is to swish aloe vera juice around in your mouth a couple of times a day.
Personally, I’d go with using aloe vera juice as a mouthwash. Leaving aloe vera gel on the gums for a half hour doesn’t sound appealing…
7. Olive Oil
This is probably the simplest natural home remedy to get rid of bleeding gums during pregnancy.
Olive oil is able to prevent bone loss and help with gum problems like bleeding and inflammation.
Just simply add olive oil to your diet.
But be warned: Too much olive oil may cause you to eat too many calories.
All you got to do is add olive oil when you’re cooking or drizzle over a salad!
I find the best way to add olive oil during my pregnancy is to add a tablespoon or two to my frying pan when I make my morning eggs.
Using cloves as a home remedy works a little bit different from the rest of the remedies on this list.
Cloves actually contain antiseptic properties.
This means it will prevent present and future bacterial infections in the mouth.
To use this remedy you have two options: chew on a piece of clove (which doesn’t sound appealing) or massage clove oil on your gums.
I’d probably go for massaging it on my gums…
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Pomegranate is one of the best ways to prevent a buildup of plaque within your mouth during pregnancy.
Odds are, you probably already consume pomegranate in juice form.
But to help ward off bacterial infections in the mouth, pomegranate needs to be fresh!
Although you can still drink pomegranate juice, you need fresh pomegranate juice with no added sugar to reduce bleeding gums.
Simply squeeze 30 ml of fresh pomegranate juice into a glass and swish in your mouth.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
The Journal of Periodontology found in 1995 that hydrogen peroxide reduces plague and gingivitis with prolonged use.
In other words, the longer you use hydrogen peroxide, the healthier your gums and teeth will be!
While hydrogen peroxide is great for reducing plague caused by bacteria, it also helps whiten your teeth.
To get the full benefits of using hydrogen peroxide, there are multiple methods.
(Even methods that combine other natural treatments listed above).
How to use hydrogen peroxide:
- Use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash by mixing with equal parts of water.
- Mix hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda to form a paste. Take a soft bristled toothbrush and massage your gums with the paste. Spit and rinse your mouth with water.
- Instead of using baking soda, combine hydrogen peroxide with clove oil to make a paste and massage your gums. Spit and rinse.
I think the best part about hydrogen peroxide is that you don’t need to use it twice a day like many of the other above methods.
Just a few times a week is all you need to help bleeding gums.
Arnica is a herb that’s in the sunflower family. But this sunflower’s not just for looking at.
This herb is perfect for you if your bleeding gums cause you pain.
The best way to relieve pain from bleeding gums is by using arnica powder mixed with water.
Simply mix the herb with water and used as a mouthwash.
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12. Oil Pulling
I saved oiling pulling for last because this method is my personal favorite to help with any kind of gum issues.
If you never heard of oil pulling, it is a method of teeth and gum cleaning that involves swishing or “pulling” oil between teeth.
Do to the antibacterial and antioxidant components, coconut and sesame oil are typically used.
I prefer to use a cold-pressed organic coconut oil for oil pulling.
To receive the best benefits for reducing gum swelling and bleeding, it’s best to oil pull first thing in the morning.
Before you brush your teeth, reach for 1 tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil and swish around your mouth. Make sure that the oil is “pulled” between each of your teeth.
This ensures that all your problem gum areas are oil pulled.
Oil pulling can be done every day for 10 to 20 minutes.
There are so many amazing benefits to oil pulling that it’s worth continuing to do throughout your pregnancy and after.
Bleeding gums in pregnancy is one of those pesky side effects of pregnancy.
But just because hormones are causing bleeding gums, doesn’t mean you have to live with it!
Odds are, your gum bleeding will go away once you give birth.
However, it’s always best to be cautious and schedule a dental exam with your dentist.
To combat this annoying and concerning pregnancy symptom, there are many natural home remedies you can use.
Some of the above home remedies can be used in conjunction, while others can simply be used by themselves.
I have used a variety of methods on this list including baking soda, increasing calcium and hydrogen peroxide.
But out of all these three natural remedies I prefer and still oil pull to relieve gum and teeth issues.
I oil pulled with coconut oil throughout my first pregnancy and now with my second I am still oil pulling.
This second pregnancy of mine has caused me to have a few instances of bleeding gums.
It’s scary, especially when you’ve never had bleeding before.
But with oil pulling I find a major relief in gum pain, swelling and bleeding.
While bleeding gums is certainly unpleasant, don’t think you have to live with it because you’re pregnant.
Instead, try a natural home remedy to relieve your bleeding gums!
Bleeding gums during pregnancy: Should you worry?