Pyogenic granuloma is a benign tumor that occurs in about 1% to 5% of pregnant women. Although this tumor is not cancerous, it can be alarming due to its rapid growth and bleeding. It usually appears as a small red or pink nodule that bleeds easily when touched, and mainly occurs on the area of gum tissue on the front teeth that can be seen when you smile or talk.
It is believed to be caused by increased angiogenesis, which is the process of forming new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels is accelerated by sex hormones, coupled with gingival irritation, due to local factors such as plaque.
Although uncommon, this condition mostly occurs during the first and second trimesters of first pregnancies, and may regress after child birth. That said, it’s still important to have a dentist examine it, confirm the diagnosis, and recommend a safe treatment for your specific case.
Home treatment options for pyogenic granuloma
Depending on the size, location, and symptoms of the lesion, treatment may only require good oral hygiene, which involves brushing your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, and using an antiseptic mouthwash to keep the mouth clean, especially along the gum line.
Additionally, your dentist or doctor may recommend various home remedies to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing, including:
Rinsing your mouth with saltwater solution
Rinse your mouth several times a day with warm saltwater. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and swish the solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. Saltwater can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Avoiding irritating foods and drinks
Stay away from spicy, acidic, or rough-textured foods that can aggravate the pyogenic granuloma. Opt for softer and non-irritating foods that are easier to chew.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene after meals
After eating, rinse your mouth with water to remove any food particles and debris that may irritate the lesion.
Applying ice packs
If the pyogenic granuloma is causing discomfort, you can apply a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the affected area. This can help reduce swelling and soothe the gums.
Avoid picking or irritating the lesion
Refrain from touching, picking, or biting the pyogenic granuloma, as this can lead to further irritation and potential bleeding.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist and promote overall oral health.
Alternative treatments for pyogenic granuloma
While home remedies can provide temporary relief, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and tailored treatment plan, especially during pregnancy. They can evaluate the condition and provide appropriate guidance and treatment recommendations.
In some cases, other treatments may be necessary to manage the condition, including:
Application of topical medications such as corticosteroids, podophyllin, or silver nitrate can be used to manage pyogenic granuloma. They are considered safe for use during pregnancy due to their limited systemic abosorption, which makes them suitable for reducing inflammation and promoting healing of the lesion.
This treatment involves freezing the pyogenic granuloma using liquid nitrogen. The extreme cold temperature destroys the abnormal tissue, causing it to slough off. The procedure is localized, quick and effective, with minimal discomfort.
This is a procedure in which the pyogenic granuloma is scraped away using a specialized instrument called a curette. It is a minor procedure that helps to remove the lesion and promote healing. Local anesthesia is usually administered to minimize pain during the procedure.
In cases where the pyogenic granuloma is large, causing significant discomfort or bleeding, surgical excision may be necessary. This involves surgically removing the lesion and then closing the wound with sutures. This option ensures complete removal of the tumor, though it may leave a small scar.
This is a precise and controlled procedure that’s considered a safe alternative to surgical excision. It involves using a laser to target and destroy the abnormal tissue. Laser therapy is less invasive since it can target the specific area without affecting surrounding tissues, which results in minimal scarring compared to surgical excision.
Ultimately, the decision regarding which treatment to pursue for pyogenic granulomas forming in the mouth during pregnancy should be made in consultation with a dentist or healthcare professional who can evaluate the specific circumstances, consider the risks and benefits, and provide personalized recommendations based on your individual health and the stage of pregnancy, for optimal results.