On February 4, 2018, television personality and socialite Kylie Jenner announced the birth of her first child, Stormi Webster, with rapper Travis Scott via a video uploaded to her Youtube channel. The video revealed her pregnancy journey, with anecdotes from her family and friends.

The documentary-like 11-minute video of the 20-year-old socialite was beautifully crafted, romanticizing the journey to motherhood and skipping the not-so-pretty part of the whole pregnancy.

In 2010, about 6.2 million pregnancies were reported in the United States — four million led to live birth, 1.1 million were induced abortions, and another million were miscarriages.

 

What is pregnancy?

The word “pregnancy” is familiar to us. Often, we associate it with “the beginning of life” or “baby bump.”

Technically, pregnancy is defined as a period of development of an offspring (embryo during the first eight weeks after conception, and fetus until birth) inside a female’s body which can take place by sexual intercourse or assisted reproductive technology.

Missed periods, nausea, and vomiting are often considered indications of pregnancy which are indicated by positive over-the-counter test results and verified via an ultrasound, blood test, and detection of a fetal heartbeat.

Also known as gestation, pregnancy is about 38 weeks starting from conception (fertilization of the egg by the sperm) and around 40 weeks when measured from the last menstrual period. It is divided into three trimesters.

 

Complications of Pregnancy

Being pregnant is a critical period in a woman’s life as she provides a temporary home to a new life. However, along with the thrill of giving life and welcoming a child to the world, pregnancy also makes a woman at risk of complications that may arise during this period.

Pregnancy complications usually include anemia, ectopic pregnancy, pulmonary embolism, postpartum psychosis, postpartum depression, pregnancy-induced hypertension, among others.

Aside from these complications, a woman becomes more vulnerable to oral-related problems as she undergoes bodily changes and experiences pregnancy symptoms including morning sickness.

Pregnancy is often characterized by morning sickness which involves vomiting and nausea and begins at the sixth week of gestation. It is normal with about 80 percent of expecting women are suffering from it.

However, as morning sickness results in vomiting, stomach acids can attach to the teeth and lead to mineral loss and erosion of the tooth’s enamel.

Pregnancy cravings can also cause tooth decay especially when they involve sticky and sweet foods. On the other hand, food aversions due to high hormone levels can result in a lack of specific nutrients of the body which are essential in the fighting off infections and bacteria.

 

Why is my oral health important while pregnant?

When pregnant, your hormone levels change. These changes put a woman at higher risk of gum diseases which can cause loose teeth or bone loss.

Poor dental health also increases the likelihood of low birth weight of infants, preeclampsia, delivery of a pre-term baby, and stillbirth.

 

What can I do to prevent dental problems?

There are simple ways you can do to make sure that your oral health is at its best condition while waiting for your due date.

  • Snack on healthier foods like cheese, apple, and celery which stimulate saliva flow necessary in fighting bacteria in the mouth.
  • Never neglect proper oral hygiene because brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash remain the best protection against oral-related diseases.
  • Visit your dentist! Your obstetrician-gynecologist is not the only doctor you should tap while pregnant. Your dentist can help you ensure your oral health, detect problems, and provide proper treatments for issues.

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