During pregnancy, your body’s bacterial levels change — sometimes dramatically. You may even wonder if this is your new normal as hormones take over and cause pregnancy changes you never even imagined. And, it’s never the same twice, because each pregnancy changes your body in new ways.
As your body adjusts, the balance between good and bad bacteria changes, too. Some changes are simply annoying, while others can have an impact on your health and the health of your baby. For instance, your oral health is critically important during pregnancy, and it’s important to know that there are ways to effectively increase the health of your mouth — and one is by simply adding an oral-health probiotic to your daily routine.
We take a look at the most common bacteria-related pregnancy changes and offer some suggestions to ease the discomfort — plus one surprising health routine for you to continue long after your baby is born.
Pregnancy changes your oral health
There’s an old adage that says pregnant women eat for two, but did you know that what’s good for mom may also be good for baby — particularly when it comes to oral health? There are many reasons to pay close attention to your mouth, teeth and gums during pregnancy.
In your mouth, there’s always a certain level of good bacteria, but sometimes bad bacteria can take over, leading to gum disease, cavities and bad breath. And, during pregnancy, your oral health — your oral “microbiome” — can affect your baby, according to Mark L. Cannon, DDS, MS, and Professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
“An expectant mom’s oral health impacts her fetus’ health, too. That’s because the mother’s oral microbiome determines the placental microbiome,” Dr. Cannon says. “In turn, the placental microbiome affects the fetal microbiome — and that affects the entire development of the child.”
Cannon points to research that suggests an improvement in the mother’s oral microbiome can reduce the cavity rate in her child by 71-73% for at least five years. This is huge, considering that cavities are considered one of the most common childhood diseases. Being proactive in reducing your child’s risk is an important move.
One surprising way to support a healthy oral biome during pregnancy is by adding an oral probiotic to your daily routine. Brush, floss, then follow with a probiotic such as ProBioraPlus. ProBioraPlus works any time of the day, but is especially effective at bedtime.
Where most probiotics work in the gut, ProBioraPlus is the only oral-care probiotic designed to crowd out bad bacteria specifically in the mouth.
Adding back that good bacteria can also help when your gums become inflamed due to pregnancy changes.
Studies show that hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause gum disease in 60-75% of pregnant women. By taking an oral-care probiotic, you’re reducing that inflammation and improving the health of your gums.
Pregnancy changes and vaginitis
Some women experience their first vaginal infection during pregnancy, and often, changes in bacteria is the cause of the problem.
Candidiasis, more commonly known as a yeast infection, is one of the most common types of vaginal infections and pregnancy changes in hormone levels can increase your risk, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Like a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis is also caused by an imbalance to normal bacteria levels in the vagina. There are different treatments for each type of vaginitis, so be sure to consult your doctor to learn what type of cure will work for you.
Nausea and vomiting
Morning sickness can really dampen the excitement of a new pregnancy, and for some people, that nausea and vomiting can persist throughout pregnancy. But good bacteria in the gut may just change all that.
A new study suggests that introducing probiotics — either through foods or supplements — can reduce common nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi can all provide beneficial bacteria to improve the gut microbiome, as can probiotic supplements. That good bacteria can make a measurable difference to that queasy feeling so many people feel during pregnancy.
But don’t confuse your probiotics!
For a healthy mouth, take an oral-health probiotic such as ProBiora, as probiotics for your gut don’t work to support your oral health. Taking a probiotic for your mouth is just as fundamental as a probiotic for your gut, but is specific to your oral biome and effective in introducing good bacteria in your mouth.
And, that good bacteria can make all the difference for a healthy pregnancy and best oral health for your baby, too.
ProBiora Health’s full line of oral-care probiotics for adults and kids can be purchased at probiorahealth.com or Amazon. Take 10% off your order with the promo code CHICAGO10.