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Due to considerable hormonal changes during pregnancy, your gums can become ultra-sensitive to simple acts like brushing and flossing. These dental problems can threaten to ruin a near-perfect pregnancy as they can lead to the bleeding, swelling and tenderness of gums. It is also a well-known fact that there is a greater risk of preterm delivery of your baby if you suffer from toothaches and gum disease.
9 Most Effective Remedies for Teeth and Gum Problems in Pregnancy
Since the hormone progesterone softens your gums and enhances the amount of blood supplied to them, your gums could bleed when you brush your teeth or even floss them. Eating and drinking could be disrupted for a while. Furthermore, painkillers will not suit your present condition, so immediate relief might seem to be an impossible thing to achieve. Fortunately, for swollen gums during pregnancy, certain home remedies have proven to be extremely effective, as they can prevent and provide relief from gingivitis and periodontitis.
Use the following remedies if you are plagued by tooth pain and bleeding gums during pregnancy:
The use of clove or clove oil works well in the case of tooth and gum problems as it is an effective natural antiseptic. It can get rid of bacterial infections and is a top alternative dental medicine. If you have a toothache, chew on a clove or rub clove oil on your teeth and gums to get quick relief. For a toothache, you can also soak a cotton ball in clove oil and place it over the area that’s causing you pain.
Pomegranate is known to have powerful antibacterial properties which can be helpful in maintaining good oral health and fights well against dental plaque. You can take 30 ml of pomegranate juice in a cup and rinse your mouth every day to reduce the dental plaque-forming bacteria by 32%. It also reduces bacterial infections which can give rise to toothaches at a later stage. Make sure the juice is fresh, and do not add any sugar to it. It can help reduce plaque build-up during pregnancy.
3. Aloe Vera
This multi-talented and potent plant is certainly one of the best options for a toothache remedy during pregnancy. It consists of 99% water and has various healing properties to boast of. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. During pregnancy, when the gums become highly sensitive, it helps to reduce inflammation, swelling, and bleeding of the gums too. Since aloe vera is available in various forms like juices, supplements, gels, mouthwashes, and toothpaste, you can choose the right product as per your need and use it accordingly.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Renowned as one of the most reliable treatments for dental problems, tea tree oil can be used to address gum and teeth problems that occur during pregnancy. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which makes it a highly popular choice. If you have inflamed gums, you can rinse your mouth with water and tea tree oil to kill microorganisms that cause the infection. Buy a tea tree oil of a good brand and mix four drops of this oil in around 90 ml of water. Rinse your mouth with this solution for best results.
5. Baking Soda
This commonly used ingredient in every kitchen is a wonderful neutraliser of the various acids that result in gum infection in the mouth. Its use is pretty simple too – all you have to do is dab your wet brush in a little baking soda powder and brush your teeth with it. Alternatively, you can also mix baking soda with your toothpaste but it is highly recommended to rinse your mouth with baking soda and water or to brush with it. Do this 2-3 times a day after meals for best results.
6. Neem Leaves
For centuries, neem leaves have been used to treat irritated and inflamed gums, especially by pregnant women. The antimicrobial properties of neem leaves prevent the build-up of plaque and also helps stop the bleeding in your gums. You can chew on one or two neem leaves every day after each meal to keep fungal and bacterial infections at bay. Neem leaves have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which make them perfect to treat gum-related issues which occur when hormonal changes make them sensitive. You can also make a neem mouthwash at home which is much better than an OTC drug since there won’t be any side effects.
Since turmeric comes with many therapeutic properties, it is used in combination with other ingredients to treat dental problems. Turmeric contains curcumin which is highly effective against infections and inflammation. You can mix together 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and ½ a teaspoon each of mustard oil and salt to form a paste. Use this paste to massage your gums in a gentle manner at least twice a day for best results. Turmeric is also effective in curtailing cancerous growths in the mouth due to the presence of curcumin.
8. Oil Pulling
This has been a traditional method to maintain good oral health and is especially helpful during pregnancy since you won’t have to consume anything. You can use coconut oil or sesame oil to do this. Coconut and sesame oil are full of antimicrobial properties and hence, are preferred for this purpose. The antioxidants these oils produce can destroy the harmful microbes present in the mouth. Swish around a good quantity of either of these oils in your mouth and ensure it reaches all the corners of the mouth. Do this for about 10 minutes every day. Infections like gingivitis and periodontitis, which leads to bleeding of gums, can be effectively countered with this simple home remedy.
This everyday drink contains high quantities of Vitamin K and calcium. This helps in the strengthening of the gums and stops them from bleeding too. Milk soothes the inflammation of the gums and is extremely helpful in reducing the discomfort caused by bleeding. Drink a cup of warm milk once or twice a day or when your gums bleed. Make sure you brush your teeth after drinking milk, otherwise it can lead to the formation of plaque. If possible, add a little turmeric powder to the milk for better effect.
Precautions to Take to Maintain Oral Health During Pregnancy
Apart from these power-packed home remedies, it is necessary to take a few precautions to take care of your oral health while you’re pregnant.
- It’s important to inform your dentist that you’re pregnant so that any elective procedures that you were planning on getting done can be postponed to a later date. Similarly, while dental X-rays can be taken while you’re pregnant, your dentist will need to know of your condition to take precautions such as shielding your abdomen and thyroid. Check with your gynaecologist before you schedule your dental appointments to see if there are any details you need to pass on to your dentist.
- Prevent the formation of plaque in your mouth by brushing twice a day, before breakfast and before you go to sleep.
- Use a soft-bristle brush or an electric toothbrush along with a fluoride toothpaste. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol. If morning sickness is keeping you from using your current toothpaste, ask your dentist to recommend a flavourless or bland-tasting toothpaste.
- Eat healthily and maintain a balanced diet, which will be good for the baby too. Remove acidic foods and sugary treats (both food and drinks) from your diet to protect your teeth from decay during these nine months, and possibly, after that too. This includes all meals, including the snacks you’ll be having throughout the day.
All the above-mentioned home remedies can be used for immediate relief and as preventive measures too, as they will help you to take care of a toothache and bleeding gums during pregnancy. If the pain or bleeding does not subside, make an appointment with your dentist and take their professional opinion at the earliest. Do not consume over-the-counter drugs for a toothache without consulting your doctor, as this could have an adverse effect on you and the baby.
Also Read: Mouth Ulcers During Pregnancy