When I was first pregnant with Hayley, I remember combing through any information I could find: How should I exercise? What should I buy? And most importantly: how can I make sure I’m doing everything I can to keep my baby healthy? Research has shown that what you eat while pregnant may affect your baby – and how it’s important to maintain proper gut health when you’re pregnant.
But what else is important when maintaining gut health?
In my previous blog post I talked about how bad bacteria in the gums can damage internal organs – but did you know oral care is super important while pregnant?
When we don’t take care of our teeth and gums, then we are at risk of getting periodontitis, which is caused by gum inflammation due to bacteria in the gums. Periodontitis can cause your gums to rupture and bleed, which can then cause bacteria to get into your bloodstream, which is a particular concern when you’re pregnant! In fact, pregnant moms may have an increased risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease due to hormonal changes. So, you want to take extra care of your gums!
Thankfully, practicing good dental hygiene, visiting your dentist, and even chewing sugar free gum can help prevent gum diseases that can affect your baby. Research has shown that chewing gum with xylitol can combat the risk of periodontitis – and even benefit the teeth of your newborn infant!
And even more than just helping your baby, chewing sugar-free gum can benefit your pregnancy well-being! We all hate that pregnancy heartburn and first-trimester nausea, but thankfully maintaining good oral health can help keep those symptoms at bay. When those pregnancy hormones take over and build up the acid in our esophagus, chewing a stick of sugar-free gum will help reduce the acidity.
Gum also has a surprising benefit during delivery. If you get a C-section, studies have shown that gum chewing in the first 24 hours after can help restore your intestine’s function faster, and reduce your hospital stay. Chewing gum can be an easy and safe option to help you on your road to full recovery.
As a dentist, I could go on about all of the positive effects of sugar-free gum and teeth health, but it’s extra important while pregnant. We want to keep our mouths clean so we can pass on good habits to our sweet little ones!
*This is a partnered post. All opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*