I remember the summer of 1985 when my wife of four years came up to me and told me “I want a baby.” I remember being taken aback. Really? I remember thinking, “Why would anybody want one of those.” Don’t get me wrong. I like kids, and the thought of spending a few hours babysitting could be fun. Going to Disneyland, or taking them to the park for an afternoon could be enjoyable.
But I was fascinated by the idea that my wife, an intelligent women, would WANT a baby. At the time, I couldn’t understand why anybody would have those desires. I must admit, the moment I held my firstborn in my arms, I felt a surge of love. I think I might have experienced a glimpse of a mother’s love. I do love my kids intensely, but I still think a mother’s love is different.
It’s a proven fact that women are programmed differently than men. Not only do they think differently, but they are made differently. For instance, take the mouth of a pregnant woman. Through the years we have seen examples of pregnancy gingivitis and pregnancy tumors.
What is a Pregnancy Gingivitis?
Pregnancy gingivitis is red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums caused by hormonal changes in pregnancy combined with poor oral hygiene.
What is a Pregnancy Tumor?
Pregnancy tumor or pyogenic granuloma is a vascular lesion that occurs on both mucosa and skin, and appears as an overgrowth of tissue due to irritation, physical trauma or hormonal factors
Why do women get Pregnancy Gingivitis?
So let me give you a possible comparison between men and women that illustrate how differently we are made. A young man has infected gums, or as we call it, gingivitis. There is no pain, no discomfort. As far as the man knows, there is no problem. He can go for years completely unaware of the situation. On the other hand, a young woman may have the same gingivitis, the same gums, same hygiene habits, same diet, but her response can be completely different than his. As soon as she becomes pregnant, her gums start bleeding like crazy, and she could even possibly get large tumors on her gums. Her mouth reacts completely different than his.
The mother’s body is trying to protect the baby.
The answer that I have heard is “hormonal changes.” I think that is partially true, but I think there is a bit more to it. The mother’s body is trying to protect the baby. The body views the dirty teeth as an infection, and it throws out a full blown immune response trying to protect the fetus. Fortunately, this is one of those problems that is easy to prevent and easy to remedy.
Mommy needs to have her teeth cleaned.
Or a different way of saying it is, mom needs non-surgical gingival therapy. I did some homework looking around on the internet to see what was being said. There was some discussion about “the link between periodontal disease and premature labor (low birth weight babies).” That’s a little spooky.
The most interesting link that I found with lots of discussions was found at www.babycenter.com. Press here to read their discussion on Is it safe to have my teeth cleaned during pregnancy? The easy answer is yes, not only for the sake of the mom, but also for the sake of the baby!
Are you planning on having a baby or do you know a young expecting mother? I can’t think of a better holiday gift than a gift certificate for a cleaning (non-surgical gingival therapy).
Not only do we think that it is important for expecting mothers to have clean teeth, but it is just as important for dads. Give us a call at (207) 236-4740. We can help.
We at Seasons of Smiles Dental not only wish and hope for your healthy smiles but full healthy lives as well.
Norman Medina DDS, graduated from Loma Linda University Dental School in 1994. He has been practicing dentistry in Midcoast Maine since 1994. He and his wife Lanita have four children.