Some women develop a swelling or lump on their gums when they are pregnant known as a pregnancy epulis. Although an epulis may look scary and may bleed when you brush your teeth, this kind of lump is typically not dangerous, and your dentist may advise against removing it unless it is causing you certain types of problems.
When to Leave a Pregnancy Epulis in Place
Dentists tend not to remove most pregnancy epulides as a matter of course. Although these lumps are a type of benign tumour, they aren't usually painful and do not have the capacity to become cancerous, according to the myDR website, leaving no real reason to remove them. These kinds of lumps are also typically not permanent - they may be caused by pregnancy hormones and will often simply disappear again once you've had your baby. Your dentist may also feel that removing an epulis is pointless as they may grow back again after they have been cut out.
However, your dentist may want to treat an epulis in certain circumstances. For example, you can sometimes develop a pregnancy epulis if you aren't keeping on top of your oral hygiene routine and have allowed a lot of tartar to build up on your teeth. In this case, your dentist may recommend removing the tartar. The epulis may then shrink down or even disappear of its own accord.
Tip: If your dentist identifies tartar as the root cause of a pregnancy epulis, it's important to up your oral hygiene game to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. If you don't, then the epulis will stay in place and may continue to grow.
When to Remove a Pregnancy Epulis
Although a pregnancy epulis typically poses no threat, there are times when dentists recommend removal. For example, according to myDR, your dentist may excise the lump if it gives you the following problems:
- If the lump bleeds a lot when you brush your teeth, making it hard to keep that area of your mouth clean.
- If the lump is at the front of your mouth and looks unsightly.
- If the lump becomes very large and causes you discomfort.
- If the dentist isn't sure that the lump is a pregnancy epulis and wants to run more checks on it.
If your lump doesn't go down or disappear after pregnancy, your dentist may also recommend having it removed at that stage.
Warning: Don't self-diagnose a pregnancy epulis. If you have any lumps or swellings in your mouth, you should go to a local dentist (such as High Street Dental) to have them checked out.