If you have ever been pregnant (or are close to someone who has been), then you’re all too aware that there are many, many things that no one really tells you about the entire experience – things you absolutely cannot know until you go through them yourself.
That said, there’s no reason we can’t or shouldn’t be more open about all of the surprising and not-so-great things that can and do happen in normal, healthy pregnancies every single day.
Things like, as this mom is pointing out, losing your teeth.
The mom in question has three kids and posts on TikTok as Gigi Naturally. In this video, now viral, she points out a gap in her teeth and reveals that she lost it during her third pregnancy and hasn’t been able to afford to replace it.
“The two I lost in my other two pregnancies are on this side, and this bridge cost $10,000.
Pregnancy isn’t just the cost of the pregnancy and the cost of the children, but the cost of getting healthy again afterward as well.”
She seems like she’s handling the whole situation with humor, but with all of the changes women deal with as far as their bodies, this has to feel like just one more thing that has to be fixed once it’s all said and done.
According to board-certified OB-GYN Dr. Christine Sterling, who spoke with Buzzfeed on the topic, this is far more common than most women probably think.
“One of the most common causes of tooth loss both in and out of pregnancy is periodontitis, a severe gum infection that, without treatment, can lead to loss of the bone that supports your teeth.”
Periodontitis starts as an inflammation, then causes the gum line to recede, leaving pockets between your gums and teeth that soon house bacteria.
Later symptoms include bleeding during flossing, bad breath, changes in your teeth’s positioning, and pain.
“The hormones of pregnancy can increase inflammation in the gums and loosen the ligaments and bones that support the teeth, making them more prone to loss,” adds Dr. Sterling.
Studies have also shown that the more children a woman has, the more likely that tooth loss will be part of the package.
“Periodontitis can be prevented with regular brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing, and periodic professional cleanings and evaluations at the dentist.”
Which means that, sadly, socioeconomic status and race play a large part in whether or not tooth loss is something you might struggle with while you’re pregnant.
Research shows that one in four people of childbearing age who have untreated cavities, the prevalence of these cavities varies by race.
Tooth decay is represented by 36% of Hispanic adults, 42% of Black adults, and 22% of white adults, so if you’re a person of color, you’ll want to take your oral care especially seriously.
This is one reason that Gigi chose to share her story.
“I believe that so little is openly known about pregnancy side effects because a lot of it is embarrassing to talk about.
So if we aren’t publicly talking about it, a lot will just be a secret.”
I promise you that no woman should go into pregnancy and childbirth blind, so share away, ladies – they’re going to find out the truth sooner or later anyway, right?
Reply to @bla3kmagi3
What do you wish you would have known before you got pregnant the first time?
Let’s share some long-overdue secrets down in the comments!