One tooth lost for each child: Could happen
Have you ever heard the proverb about a mother losing a tooth for each of her pregnancies? It may not be so farfetched, reports the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists who are dedicated to continuing education. Researchers examined more than 2,900 twins and their spouses to determine whether the number of children a woman has is related to the number of teeth she ends up losing. The twins were divided into groups of high social status and low social status. The study concluded that women of low social status lost about one additional tooth per child, whereas women of high social status lost about one additional tooth per two children in comparison to men of the same status and the same number of children. “Many pregnant women avoid going to the dentist,” says Arthur Weiner, DMD, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. “The pregnancy itself doesn’t necessarily cause moms to lose their teeth, but the pregnancy may be used as an excuse to postpone visits to the dentist.” The fact is that pregnant women are more susceptible to dental disease than non-pregnant women because pregnancy induces a host of physical changes in the mouth. The hormonal increase during pregnancy is associated with pregnancy gingivitis– inflammation and bleeding of the gums. These tender gums, in turn, are less resistant to fighting off the periodontitis-causing bacteria, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Despite the joyous disruption a baby brings to a woman’s life, it is important the mother take time to attend to her dental health, advises Dr. Weiner.