“My teeth have been crumbling for years, and I'm not sure why. A year or so after my twins were born, I started noticing that my teeth felt weaker. They’d chip and they’d break, and I’d spend hours and hours at my dentist office trying new things to fix them. I have had crowns until my tooth structure underneath crumbled and could no longer support them.
I'm confused, I've done everything right to this point. I've flossed and brushed just like my dentist told me to, but yet I couldn’t save my teeth.” --CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT IN ARIZONA
Unfortunately, Can't Figure it Out's story isn’t unique. Just within the last decade, science has uncovered links between pregnancy and a decline in oral health.
One of the lesser known side effects of the changing hormones of pregnancy is periodontal disease. Nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis (1), which is an early stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis occurs with red, swollen gums and can be aggravated by the change in hormones during pregnancy.
Left untreated, gingivitis can cause bone loss and infection, causing teeth to become loose. This can possibly lead to eventual extraction.
You may know very well about pregnancy cravings, but what you might surprise you is that the change in eating habits can invite a lot of cavity-causing bacteria to thrive in your mouth. In fact, this bacteria can even be transmitted to the baby (2), leading to early childhood cavities.
As if that wasn’t enough, morning sickness (seen in 70% of pregnancies, and a significant problem for Can't Figure it Out) can also affect oral hygiene negatively, and can cause erosion of the tooth enamel (3).
A worst case scenario
Eventually, Can't Figure it Out had no choice but to remove her crumbling teeth. She wore partials, but knew that implants were going to be the only permanent solution to her problem.
The thought of having the last of her teeth pulled was terrifying. “For years I had dreaded the extraction of my last teeth. I knew it was coming, and I was so embarrassed about having to do this at all. I couldn’t imagine anyone finding out that I had no teeth.”
After about 8 weeks of researching surgical methods and pricing, she decided to check out Britely. Immediately upon entering the office, she felt more at ease than she had in a long time. “They know who I am when I go in, I know they’re busy but I’m not just another patient when I’m there.”
Dr. Barrett walked her through the process, determining after her partial denture broke that implants would be the best solution for her. Britely was able to offer a payment plan that she felt comfortable with, and she left feeling excited about what was to come. “I knew that things were only going to get better from here.”
“The whole procedure went just as Dr. Barrett said it would, he explained every step along the way before he did anything. I felt very at ease”
The implant process has taken about 6 months since her initial consultation, and aside from a little soreness and swelling Can't Figure it Out has been healing nicely (and her photos speak for themselves).
“Honestly I feel like a different person. No one would ever suspect I had gone through what I did to get here. This is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself!”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pregnancy and Oral Health, 2019.
- Damle SG, Yadav R, Garg S, Dhindsa A, Beniwal V, Loomba A, Chatterjee S. Transmission of mutans streptococci in mother-child pairs. Indian J Med Res. 2016 Aug;144(2):264-270. doi: 10.4103/0971-5916.195042. PMID: 27934807; PMCID: PMC5206879.
- Yenen Z, Ataçağ T. Oral care in pregnancy. J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc. 2019 Nov 28;20(4):264-268. doi: 10.4274/jtgga.galenos.2018.2018.0139. Epub 2018 Dec 17. PMID: 30556662; PMCID: PMC6883753.