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This story contains graphic images that may be considered disturbing to some readers.
For most women, pregnancy includes some health problems. From nausea and vomiting to high blood pressure and hemorrhoids, life can become fairly uncomfortable for the 40 weeks it takes to create human life. However, there are plenty of pregnancy symptoms that aren’t as well known, like bleeding gums and even losing teeth.
Ella Dvornik, a lifestyle blogger from Croatia, took to social media to reveal to her more than 359,000 Facebook followers the startling, but common, side effect she has experienced while pregnant.
On Jan. 28, while pregnant with her second child, the 29 year old shared a photo of her bleeding gums.
“This is a normal occurrence in pregnancy, although not everyday...In the past my gums were bleeding a little more strongly due to excess blood, hormones, etc.,” she captioned the post.
The post received more than 4,600 reactions and 470 comments from followers, many of whom experienced similar side effects during pregnancy.
“During pregnancy, I had cysts that would puss around my teeth, I was dying in pain,” one woman wrote.
“It happened to me,” another added. “Almost all of my teeth were in pain during pregnancy.”
Some women revealed they had lost teeth during pregnancy.
“Half my teeth broke during my pregnancy,” another wrote. “Lost two teeth during pregnancy. I was crying while washing my teeth from blood...”
While practicing good oral hygiene is always important, hormonal changes during pregnancy can actually increase the risk of developing gum and bone disease. Many women will experience sensitive gums and inflammation (gingivitis) that can lead to pain and frequent bleeding when brushing.
Dental problems such as gingivitis occur during the second or third month of pregnancy due to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), expectant mothers should visit their dentist during their pregnancy for an oral check-up and professional teeth cleaning. If left untreated, gum disease can affect the supportive tissue that holds teeth in place, which can cause teeth to loosen.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy is also crucial to the health of the developing fetus. Research has linked periodontal disease during pregnancy to having a low-weight baby and even delivering pre-term, which increases the baby’s chances of asthma and developmental problems.
The ADA recommends pregnant women brush twice-a-day with a soft bristled brush, using toothpaste containing fluoride and flossing at least once a day. Women who experience morning sickness should only rinse their mouths out with water after vomiting to remove any stomach acid left on the teeth which can erode enamel. Brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting can cause further enamel erosion, making rinsing and taking antacids to neutralize stomach acid a safer choice.