I hear this old adage repeated by patients quite often. These days there is still a tendency for some women to have somewhat more gum inflammation during the hormonal upheavals of pregnancy and lactation. However, how this could have occurred to such an extent as to cause tooth loss seemed unclear and somewhat mythical even.
However, the results of a recently published study suggest there may be some validity to his phenomenon. Researchers atTohokuUniversityinJapanstudying rats found that insufficient calcium in the diets of pregnant and nursing mothers could cause them to suffer periodontal (gum) disease and bone loss from the jaw. Insufficient calcium appears to place all of the tooth-supporting tissues (gums and bone) at risk for breakdown due to an inflammatory reaction in these tissues. The lactating females exhibited an even greater amount of bone loss and weaker attachment of teeth to bone.
While human studies are needed to confirm these findings mothers who are nursing should be aware of this potential problem and ensure they have enough calcium in their diet. Breast milk is obviously important to infant bone development but mothers need to maintain their own health with proper nutrition so their baby’s calcium gain is not at mom’s sake.
Monitoring of her own health with regular dental visits and hygiene appointments through pregnancy and after ensure adequate periodontal health.
Enjoy your smile…Everyone else does!