Pregnancy does weird things to you. I'm talking really weird things - as if anything is weirder than your stomach stretching out to hold a seven pound human being for nine months - like the fact that my hair has gotten darker (and grayer), I have new freckles/sunspots, and my feet grew a half size. Over the course of the last two years or so, these lovely little reminders of pregnancy have made their appearance one by one. Each has prompted some head scratching, and taken some getting used to, but they seem minor enough. (And, I think this goes without saying, but totally worth it. Duh.)
Anyways, the latest post-pregnancy symptom - however - has been the most inconvenient, costly, and painful (not to mention generally gross/embarrassing): I get a lot more cavities than I used to before being pregnant/having a baby.
I have gladly given you my entire mid-section, my feet, my hair, my time, and my sanity --- Could you maybe back off of my teeth? Trust me when I say you don't want to be the kid who's mom has no teeth! Thanks for your consideration.
Here are the facts: I've never had a perfect dental track-record; but, before I had Sam I had only I had three cavities EVER (one of which was actually during my pregnancy, come to think of it) But, in the last two years, I've had two MAJOR cavities that almost led to needing root canals and (I'm pretty sure) another one in the making now. Plus, my latest dental x-rays showed several "dangerous" looking spot. Weird right?
At first, it never occurred to me that I could actually blame pregnancy for this too. I figured, reasonably, that it was a result of too much coffee, diet coke, and general sugary foods finally catching up with me. I scolded myself (silently), and bought Jeff and I both fancy electric toothbrushes for Christmas. We also bought a water-flosser (very fancy), and I felt hopeful that I could turn that train around.
But, honestly? It didn't help much.
So, after my second round of major dental work a few months ago... I started Googling (naturally). And, I was actually shocked to find that some studies suggest there is a legitimate link between pregnancy hormones and dental damage. WHAaa?
Check out some of these sources:
*Somehow I had never heard that wives tale before.
"Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates" (US News, 2008)
"Why Women Are More Prone to Cavities" (NBC News, 2008)
"Dental Health During Pregnancy" (Mayo Clinic, 2009)
And these don't include the hundreds of dental blogs and mom message boards discussing the topic...
Since I started asking around, I've discovered that actually A LOT of my friends have had similar experiences with their teeth. It seems that some dentists are open about "blaming" pregnancy for dental problems, while others are still skeptical and say any correlation is more because of pregnancy cravings and bad habits that develop in new moms (like too much coffee and soda). Either way, it is interesting and worth a thought.
So tell me... Did your pregnancy affect your teeth? What other unusual "symptoms" have you had post-pregnancy?