Moms-to-be usually have a lot of questions regarding pregnancy and most worries are related to the good health of their baby. Most to-be mothers opt for different lifestyle habits during this phase in their lives, not for themselves but for their child’s well-being.
Most to-be mothers opt for some drastic changes in their lives like dietary changes, de-stressing habits, and lifestyle changes like pregnancy yoga, exercising, etc. But how many would alter our dental habits and focus on dental care during pregnancy?
Sound weird to you? It starts with most women being unaware of the relation between pregnancy and teeth. Not many are aware that good oral hygiene is very important for the well-being of the child.
One such habit that improves your oral hygiene and could prove to be beneficial for the overall good health of your child— Oil Pulling!
Let’s find out some interesting facts on how oil pulling during pregnancy could benefit your baby. But for that, we should first understand how poor gum health affects the baby.
Gum diseases during pregnancy
Studies prove gum diseases are directly related to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Women usually experience a lot of hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy which causes —
- Pregnancy gingivitis/pregnancy gum diseases: This is a common oral health issue for expectant moms. During pregnancy, tissue around the gums swells and can cause irritation or infection.
- Pregnancy gum tumor: This is a benign tumor that can appear in the mouth during pregnancy. It usually appears on the side of the face, near the lower lip or chin area, and may be painful or cause bleeding if touched or bumped.
- Tooth sensitivity: Nausiatic pregnancy and frequent vomiting causes the teeth to become sour and cause teeth erosion which results in increased sensitivity.
Unhealthy gums during pregnancy
Pregnancy-related hormonal changes make your body go through some dramatic changes, and can result in a serious impact on your oral health. The increased progesterone and estrogen levels in the body make it favorable for the bad bacteria ( P. Gingivalis bacteria), in the plaque to linger around the gum tissues. Gingivitis occurs when this plaque builds upon the surface of your teeth, causing the gums to become inflamed and red. If the problem is not treated, it can lead to periodontitis, which can result in tooth loss or abscesses.
Pregnancy gingivitis (also known as pregnancy gum disease) can cause soreness, swelling, bulky gums, smooth and shiny appearance of your gums as well as gum bleeding during pregnancy. You may also experience bleeding even while performing normal habits like brushing your teeth or floss them.
Increased bacterial levels in the mouth
Studies show increased levels of certain bacteria during pregnancy that actually are the main reasons that cause gum infections like pregnancy gingivitis. Bacteria like A. Actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, P. Intermedia increase in the mouth during the entire phase of pregnancy. S. Mutans to show increased levels during the first trimester. Candida species are known to cause fungal infections usually increase during the later stages of pregnancy.
Research showed subgingival plaque (plaque below the gum line) to be the breeding ground for P. Gingivalis (bacteria) during pregnancy. Increased levels of P. Gingivalis thus cause the gums to become inflamed and red, puffy, and swollen by releasing harmful toxins.
Toxin release from these bad bacteria is one of the sole reasons for bad breath during pregnancy. It’s also one of the early signs of increased bacterial levels in the mouth.
Bacteria enter the blood and affect the baby
Increased levels of bacteria in the mouth, especially P. Gingivalis is the culprit of all gum infections during the pregnancy phase. Gum infections now start spreading and start swelling. This makes it more bulky and lose their attachment with the teeth. This makes may for P. Gingivalis (bacteria) to penetrate deeper into the tissues and reach the bloodstream.
Also, when the mother swallows the food these bacteria are ingested along with it. After ingesting these bacteria reach the gut and enter the bloodstream. These bacteria and the toxin ( inflammatory mediators) released by them now circulate in the blood targeting the health of the baby.
How does oil pulling during pregnancy help?
Most of you would wonder is oil pulling actually safe during pregnancy? The answer is yes! Studies suggest oil pulling is safe during pregnancy and helps oral hygiene in check. Oil pulling can help you prevent pregnancy gingivitis by reducing the levels of P. Gingivalis. Researchers prove oil pulling early in the morning reduces the bacterial levels in the mouth. This is exactly something that we all need in order to keep the baby healthy.
Oil pulling aims at removing plaque and bacteria from the gum line and break through the bacterial colonies. It also flushes out the toxins released by these bacteria and does not allow these bacteria to reach the mother’s blood. This ensures that there will be no harmful effects on your baby.
When you keep your mouth healthy you keep your baby healthy!
Oil pulling mainly works at flushing out the remnants of debris, plaque and bacteria from the mouth and also removes the oral toxins to keep your mouth especially gums healthy. This reduces the bacterial levels in the mouth and prevents them from reaching the baby. Good oral hygiene, thus, keeps your baby healthy and also reduces the risks of pregnancy complications.
A daily habit of oil pulling during pregnancy can help keep your baby healthy.
- During pregnancy plaque and calculus levels increase in the mouth.
- This increases the bacterial levels in the mouth leading to poor oral hygiene.
- Bacteria in the mouth enter the mother’s blood and reach the baby. This affects the child’s health.
- Oil pulling during pregnancy works at reducing the bacterial levels in the mouth by breaking through the plaque colonies. This prevents the bacteria from entering the bloodstream and reaching the baby.
- A daily habit of oil pulling can thus help keep your baby healthy. Make sure you also consult your gynecologist before starting with oil pulling.