How to Avoid Cavities During Pregnancy with a Mineralized Oral Routine

October 25, 2019

pregnancy and dental care

You know that being pregnant involves morning sickness, prenatal vitamins, and plenty of visits to the OB-GYN, but did you know that pregnancy also puts you at risk of oral health complications?

Pregnancy creates a flurry of activity in the body, from hormone surges to mineral deficiencies. Most women don’t stop to think about the influence of these pregnancy changes on their teeth and gums.

However, the link between oral health and pregnancy is a two-way road. They directly influence each other, for better or for worse. By understanding the complex relationship between your growing belly and your oral health, you can adapt the best habits for your baby’s health and your own smile. 

How Does Pregnancy Impact Oral Health?

Maintaining strong oral health is a challenge for all adults, but pregnancy further increases the risk of cavities, inflammation, periodontal disease, and other serious problems. 

There’s an old saying shared by mothers — You get one cavity for every baby you have! It might sound like a joke, but there’s a real truth inside that phrase. 

When you become pregnant, your growing baby pulls from the minerals in your body to develop her own bones and teeth. This is why prenatal vitamins in pregnancy are so important! They are formulated to replenish your body with vital nutrients like folate, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

In theory, as long as you take a daily prenatal vitamin, your baby’s development will thrive, and you won’t experience any side effects of nutrient deficiency. 

Unfortunately, this theory isn’t bulletproof. The simple act of taking a prenatal vitamin doesn’t guarantee you’ll enjoy a surplus of micronutrients throughout your pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience a complication called malabsorption, which reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food and supplements. 

There are many potential causes of malabsorption, including digestive disorders, medications, enzyme malfunction.

Your body doesn’t give you a flashing red light when mineral availability slows to a stop. So you may not even realize it’s happening until complications develop. Micronutrient deficiency is linked to issues like anemia, numbness, pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, and even birth defects. 

Unfortunately, these side effects extend into your mouth as well. Without sufficient levels of minerals, your saliva can’t properly protect your teeth from cavities, decay, and pregnancy gingivitis.  

Cavities During Pregnancy

Most average adults struggle with the presence of cavities. However the physiological and lifestyle changes triggered by pregnancy put expectant women at higher risk of dental caries. 

A cavity develops when oral bacteria and acid cause excessive demineralization to tooth enamel. Since pregnancy tends to increase the amount of acid in the mouth, especially if you have aggressive morning sickness, cavities can form quickly and unexpectedly. If left untreated, cavities during pregnancy cause dangerous complications:

  • Oral abscess
  • Increased risk of cavities for child
  • Development of periodontal disease

Recalibrating the mineral content of your saliva helps to counteract cavity development and heal enamel that’s eroded by acid. 

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, an inflammatory disease of the gum tissue. It’s easy to overlook the signs of gingivitis as insignificant or temporary, especially as the body changes so much during pregnancy. 

If you notice any of these symptoms, pregnancy gingivitis could be the culprit:

  • Bad breath
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Soft gums that bleed easily

Even if you enjoyed a healthy, low-maintenance mouth before pregnancy, you may still be at risk.

Fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones send your carefully balanced oral microbiome toppling over like a Jenga tower. Without a steady oral environment supported by mineral-rich products, your saliva and immune system can’t properly protect your teeth and gums from disease. 

This explains why nearly 75% of all pregnant women show signs of gingivitis during pregnancy. 

The Most Important Nutrients During Pregnancy

Given all of this information, which nutrients are the most important throughout your pregnancy? You don't want to leave the health of you and your baby to chance. Make sure you select prenatal vitamins, meals, and oral care products that include these most critical nutrients. 

Folic Acid

Vitamin B9 exists naturally as folate. It plays an invaluable role in the body by controlling cell growth and DNA formation. Babies who don’t receive enough folate during development are at higher risk of birth abnormalities and neural tube defects like spina bifida. You might also find folate listed as folic acid, the synthetic form of B9. 

pregnancy and dental care

Iron

Iron aids in the production of hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. As soon as your baby begins developing, she demands so much blood and oxygen that your body needs double the intake of iron to keep up. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is more than just a simple vitamin. It functions like a hormone, allowing it to regulate and influence systems throughout your body. It's even more important in pregnancy since vitamin D directly impacts your body's ability to absorb calcium. If you're vitamin D deficient, you're likely to become calcium deficient as well. 

Iodine

Iodine is a critical but often overlooked nutrient that supports healthy thyroid development in growing babies. The thyroid regulates brain and nervous system development, which means that iodine deficiency can trigger serious developmental complications. Since most foods are low in iodine, a small supplementation dose may be the best source. 

Zinc

Zinc plays a central role in the protein synthesis, cell division, and growth. It influences the strength of your immune system and wound healing capabilities. In other words, it's an essential nutrient to maintain during pregnancy. 

Calcium

Calcium is the building block of your baby's teeth and gums. She uses the calcium supply in your system to meet her own growing needs, which leaves you at risk of deficiency. In addition to nourishing and protecting your own bones and teeth, studies show that calcium supplementation may reduce the risks of pre-eclampsia and preterm birth.

The Dangers of Dental Problems During Pregnancy

It’s important to remember that gingivitis and cavities during pregnancy don’t develop in a bubble. Not only do they wreak havoc on your oral microbiome, gut health, and immune system, but they also put your growing baby at risk of serious complications. 

Preterm Birth

When a pregnant woman suffers from untreated or severe periodontitis, toxins produced by oral bacteria respond by triggering the production of chronic inflammation markers like cytokines, prostaglandins, and interleukins. Inflammation eats away at gum tissue and creates small pockets where bacteria can burrow and breed infection. 

Research shows that inflammatory markers don’t stay restricted in the mouth, but travel through amniotic fluid to penetrate the placenta, uterus, and cervix and potentially initiate premature labor. 

Low Birth Weight

Your poor dental health may also contribute to a low birth weight for your baby. The process begins with periodontitis, bacteria, and markers of chronic inflammation, just like preterm birth. The release of one specific inflammation marker known as PGE2 is thought to restrict placental blood flow. Without sufficient circulation to receive oxygen and nutrients, your baby’s intrauterine growth becomes restricted. 

Transfer of Bacteria to Unborn Child

Even if you don’t show signs of gum disease, pregnancy gingivitis and cavities may still expose our baby to harmful bacteria through blood or amniotic fluid. Newborn babies swallow amniotic fluid during labor and must process the bacteria present in amniotic fluid through their delicate digestive system. 

Research identifies a range of nearly 50 different species of bacteria found in the stomachs of newborn babies. Though most of the bacteria are normal, the strains known as Granulicatella elegans and Streptococcus sinensis originate from the mother’s oral cavity and increase the risk of infection.

Developmental Problems

Pregnancy gingivitis and cavity decay are closely intertwined with the nutritional deficiencies triggered by pregnancy. A lack of proper nutrients may exacerbate gingivitis and decay, just as oral health problems can make mineral absorption more challenging. 

It’s vital for pregnant women to understand that their babies can suffer birth defects and developmental challenges when significant mineral deficiencies occur. 

The simple act of supplementing with B-vitamin folic acid, for example, can prevent as many as 50 to 70 percent of neural tube defects like spina bifida. Since B12 supports nervous system function and red blood cell production, a B12 deficiency early in pregnancy prevents proper fetal development. 

Important Tips: Pregnancy and Dental Care

You owe it to yourself and your baby to keep your mouth as healthy as possible during pregnancy. Even with factors like spiking hormones and morning sickness, it’s still possible to use a mineralizing oral routine to enhance your dental care.

Switching the way you brush can prevent the negative outcomes associated with cavities, gingivitis, and uncontrolled bacteria!

pregnancy and dental care

Brush With Tooth Powder to Restore Minerals

There are so many reasons to toss your fluoride toothpaste, especially when you’re growing a new life inside of you. Why expose your vulnerable baby to neurotoxins like fluoride, triclosan, SLS, and aspartame when you can easily choose natural, nutrient-rich alternatives? 

Here’s the truth: your normal, name brand toothpaste is formulated to kill all the bacteria in your mouth. Every single time you brush, your toothpaste wipes out the productive, healthy bacteria responsible for protecting your teeth. Without that healthy bacteria, the pH in your mouth becomes too acidic and weakens the restorative properties of your saliva.

Unfortunately, acids love nothing more than to leach minerals from your teeth like hungry mosquitoes sucking blood. This leaves you with an oral environment that supports decay and damage instead of healing and repair. You’ll continue to lose calcium, phosphate, and other minerals from your teeth until cavities and gingivitis develop. 

This is exactly why natural Dirty Mouth Toothpowder takes an entirely different approach from the Crest or Colgate tube on your bathroom sink. Toothpowder is made to actively remineralize your mouth and restore healthy oral bacteria. 

When you brush twice a day with this remineralizing toothpowder, you’ll give your mouth and body the nutrients it needs to combat the effects of pregnancy. You can expect to see the following improvements after just a few days:

  • Clean, polished teeth
  • Less plaque and tartar 
  • Reduced gum inflammation
  • Stronger, less sensitive teeth

Tooth powder delivers such powerful results because it’s formulated with earthen clays, aluminum-free baking soda and organic essential oils. You definitely won’t find those ingredients on the label of fluoride toothpaste! 

Bentonite clay is a mild adhesive that gently scrubs and polishes the teeth. It works like an astringent by helping to remove tartar and clean the gums. As soon as bentonite clay comes in contact with the bad bacteria and toxins in your mouth, it sucks them away and replaces them with minerals. White kaolin clay and French green clay have the same absorbent effect to cleanse gum tissues and infuse calcium, silica, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium throughout your mouth. 

Support Your Gum and Saliva Health

In addition to such an easy but powerful switch in your brushing routine, you can also prevent complications between pregnancy and dental care by giving extra attention to your gums and saliva. 

Dirty Mouth Toothpaste is a great way to make this happen. Dirty Mouth Toothpaste builds upon the recipe for Dirty Mouth Tooth Powder by adding colloidal silver. 

Colloidal silver functions uniquely in the mouth as an antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory agent. You don’t need to understand the nitty-gritty science to appreciate the fact that colloidal silver creates an environment where dangerous bacteria can’t thrive. Instead, you’ll enjoy the benefits of neutral, mineral-rich saliva that instantly zaps away toxins and bacteria before they cause trouble. 

Maximize your results by adding gum serum to your dental routine. Boost Gum Serum contains 11 powerful essential oils proven to revitalize and protect your gum tissue. Tea tree, peppermint, lemon, chamomile, and many other oils work together to counteract the effects of pregnancy gingivitis and the potential onset of periodontitis. 

Are Conventional Dental Practices Safe During Pregnancy?

You still need to visit the dentist for basic care during pregnancy, but it’s best if you can find a natural or holistic dentist who understands the flaws in our modern dental system and values the use of mineral-rich toothpaste alternatives. If you make an appointment with a standard dentist who can’t — or won’t — identify the dangers of fluoride toothpaste and other neurotoxins, you may not get the treatment you and your baby deserve. 

Research indicates that invasive dental treatments should be avoided during the first trimester to prevent complications during your baby’s organ development. Treatment for periodontal disease, for example, has the potential to trigger systemic inflammation that creates a domino effect of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

X-rays and other radiographs are also dangerous to your pregnancy. Any concentrated source of electromagnetic radiation can damage cells and DNA. That’s not a risk you want to take within a mile of your baby! Depending on the amount of radiation, complications may include birth defects or miscarriage. 

The Best Choices For Your Pregnancy and Dental Care

Pregnancy gives you nine months of practice for parenthood. Even though your baby hasn’t yet entered the world, she is busy growing, developing, and building her defenses. By improving your dental habits to combat common issues like pregnancy gingivitis and cavities, you take essential steps to protect not just your oral health, but your baby’s overall health. 

A simple mineralizing oral routine does more to protect your teeth and gums than any fluoride toothpaste out there. Dirty Mouth Toothpowder, Dirty Mouth Toothpaste, and Boost Gum Serum are all carefully and lovingly formulated to address demineralization, nurture healthy bacteria, and maximize your oral wellness. 

You don’t need to suffer cavities and gum disease just because you’re pregnant. The right natural products make all the difference for you and your baby!

Resources:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jppr.1438
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000299.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5713811/
https://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/0415/p1139.html#afp20080415p1139-b8
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4385665/
https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/features/pregnancy-and-oral-health.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24284617
https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/vitamin-d-and-pregnancy/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590285/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3787719/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4785477/
https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Health-Care-for-Underserved-Women/Oral-Health-Care-During-Pregnancy-and-Through-the-Lifespan?IsMobileSet=false
https://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/0415/p1139.html#afp20080415p1139-b8
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330200712.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/orders/pdfs/09_202063-A_Nash_Neural%20Tube%20BD%20Guide%20FINAL508.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3800408/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4385665/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5965070/



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