Friday, April 21, 2006

blood bath

One of the things I never knew about pregnancy was that it would turn me into a blood-spewing monster from the deep every time I floss my teeth. I've tried to step up with the flossing, but I'm lucky if it happens once a week. And can you blame me? Every time I floss, I end up flicking splatters of crimson all over the sink, faucet and mirror that make our bathroom look like a crime scene. Once I was flossing when Steve was in the room, and for a joke, I turned to him, bared my teeth and hissed like Gollum. My God, he said. Sexy.

According to an article at, this could become more than just a housecleaning nightmare. Apparently, about half of all pregnant women have bleeding, sensitive gums — known as "pregnancy gingivitis." It's caused by increased progesterone and blood flow to the mouth. But if not looked after, it can lead to worse things:

"If you don't take care of your teeth and gums, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, a more serious condition in which the infection goes beyond your gums into the bone and other tissue that support your teeth. This is of particular importance for pregnant women (and women considering getting pregnant). One large study found that pregnant women with periodontal disease were seven times more likely to have a premature baby."

Guess I'd better suck it up (and I don't mean that literally) and find the discipline to floss more often. Whew — what with dental care, kegels, exercise, drinking enough milk, eating enough protein, and all the other things pregnant women are supposed to do, pregnancy could be a full-time job! (Good preparation for motherhood, no?)


Susanne said...

Boy, what nasty flossing experiences! It sounds worse than when I'd floss during the chemo, and that was bad enough! No bleeding for me though - just really tender gums. But it sounds like your bathroom looks like the Scream picture you posted!

Emilie said...

Sue -it is really gross! The thing is, my gums don't hurt at all. They just bleed. Your chemo sensitivity must have been pretty tough, too. :(