What Are Those Red Bumps On Your Gums? A Guide For Pregnant Ladies

When you're pregnant, your body changes in strange and unexpected ways. One thing that may surprise and concern you is the appearance of red, swollen bumps on your gums. You might fear that these bumps are cancerous or a sign of some serious underlying disease, but chances are, they're just pregnancy tumors – another unpleasant but fairly normal occurrence when you're expecting. Here's a closer look at what you need to know.

What do pregnancy tumors look like?

The tumors vary from woman to woman, but they are usually red and puffy. They may be tiny, or they may take up the width of several teeth. Sometimes they have a purple or white tint, and occasionally they may start to crust over. The tumors may be sore to the touch and may bleed if you brush them too hard to press on them the wrong way.

What should you do if you think you have a pregnancy tumor?

Make an appointment with your dentist. Though you're almost certainly fine, it's important to rule out the chances that your tumor has a more sinister cause. Your dentist will usually be able to tell just by looking at your tumor, though he or she may want to take a tissue sample in some cases.

In the meantime, just be gentle around your tumor. Use a soft toothbrush, and try not to directly brush over the tumor. Rinsing your mouth with salt water should help alleviate the pain and toughen up the tissues so you don't have so much bleeding. If chewing makes your mouth sore, stick to softer foods or avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the tumor is found.

What causes these tumors?

Like most everything else you experience in pregnancy, they're brought on by hormonal changes. The change in the balance of estrogen and progesterone in your system, along with the increased blood volume placing pressure on your tissues, leads to the tumors.

When will your tumors go away?

Typically, they'll fade away once you give birth. This may take a few days, or it may take a few months. If the tumors are really bothering you or don't seem to be fading quickly enough, your dentist can remove them. This is a simple outpatient procedure. The tumors are removed with a scalpel or laser while you're under local anesthesia to numb your gums. You'll need to stick to soft foods and your mouth will be sore for a few days, but then everything should go back to normal.

If you ever have any question as to whether a change in your body or mouth is normal during pregnancy, talk to your dentist or physician. Visit a clinic like Peninsula Community Health Services- Medical (Cottonwood) for more info.