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Why You Should Care about Gum Disease during Your Pregnancy

October 11, 2019 by  
Filed under A. Tavoularis

By Amanda Tavoularis, DDS (dentably.com)

Gum disease is a common ailment affecting millions of people each year, but are you aware of the additional issues it can cause for pregnant women? It’s true, this oral issue has far-reaching effects throughout your body and can cause serious complications if left untreated. As a dentist of 20 years, I’ve worked with many pregnant women and helped them understand the implications of their oral health on their pregnancies. Today we’ll look at the aforementioned gum disease, and what every pregnant woman should know about the disease.

What Is Gum Disease and Why Should I Care?

Gum disease is, simply put, a bacterial infection of the gums. It causes red and swollen gums, and is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. That said, it can also be caused by other factors out of your control such as genetics or, of particular interest when pregnant, raised hormone levels.

The reason why gum disease is particularly dangerous for pregnant women is that it has been linked to premature births, possibly due to the role of the bacteria in triggering systemic inflammation. Having gum disease raises the chances that you’ll have a premature birth, which is why it’s so important to deal with it. Gum disease has also been shown to cause or aggravate other ailments such as heart disease and diabetes, which can also cause unwanted effects on your pregnancy.

Two Easy Steps to Prevention

Luckily, gum disease is easy enough to prevent, and depending on your current habits, you might not need to change much at all.

The first step is simply to have good at-home care. This means brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash every day. Maintaining a balanced, low-sugar diet and fighting cravings is also important. These preventative measures are the best way to protect your mouth against gum disease and give you the best chance of avoiding it.

Outside of that, it’s also important to make sure you’re visiting your dentist regularly. Yet even with good care, as noted above, factors such as increased hormone levels can also cause the disease, meaning you may still be at risk. Your dentist will be able to diagnose and treat any issues, and can provide feedback on your overall oral health. The deep cleaning a dentist provides is also important to preventing issues before they begin.

Seeking Treatment

Lastly, if you do develop gum disease, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. In many cases, letting the disease sit only makes it worse because it gives more time for the bacteria to spread. Listen to your dentist, and take their recommendation on the best and safest time to begin treatment.

This is a point a lot of pregnant women are a bit apprehensive about, and for good reason. Many see the sedatives used and question whether they will affect their pregnancy. Others simply think the risks of getting an operation done during pregnancy are too great and are wary to go through with it.

The truth is that putting off the procedure is often more dangerous than getting it, because a delay in treatment allows the disease to progress. Many sedatives are for the most part safe and leave your body quickly without causing lasting effects. Always check with your dentist, though, as some can be harmful.

With that in mind, it’s important to listen to your dentist and receive treatment if recommended. Rest assured that your dentist wants only the best for you and would never do something that puts you or your pregnancy in danger.

Taking care of your oral health should be a priority for every pregnant woman. By doing so, you help keep your body healthy and prevent serious complications down the road. Keep up with your oral routine and visit the dentist regularly, and you’ll be well on your way to maintaining your healthy smile and healthy pregnancy.

About the Author: Amanda Tavoularis, DDS, brings more than two decades of expertise to the Dentably team and is committed to providing information and care to women and expecting mothers. She studied at the University of Washington School of Dentistry and continued her education at the Kois Center. With a son of her own, Dr. Amanda knows firsthand how to take care of your dental health during pregnancy.

Facts About Fertility You Might Not Know

September 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

husband kissing his pregnant wife belly on black background

by guest blogger Josef Samuels

If you are thinking or even if you have decided to get pregnant congratulations. Becoming a parent is one of the most important and fulfilling things any person can do. By this stage, you words like ovulation and trimester should be very familiar to you, as you have most probably done some research on what the best and most effective ways to get pregnant are. Today we will be discussing the F word. Fertility. While you may have a general understanding of how it all works, there may be some facts about fertility that could surprise you. You can read more about motherhood and pregnancy on Mommy Authority.

Now let’s take a look at some interesting fertility facts you might not know:

Is Ovulation A Myth?

While most people believe that a woman’s ovulation period is the best time to conceive, recent studies have shown that this may not be completely accurate. Sperm can remain active in the female reproductive tract for multiple days after sex. This means that you don’t necessarily have to have intercourse on your ovulation day. According to some findings, instead of focusing on when you are ovulating you should concentrate on the days you are most fertile. In total, a woman is fertile for approximately six days. The ovulation day (the day that the egg is released)  itself and the five days leading up to it. Therefore it is suggested that in order to increase your chances of conception, you should have intercourse two days before ovulation.

Fertility Is Not Only Determined By Health

If you lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle and look after your overall well being – it does not mean for certain that you or even your partner is fertile. Studies have found that roughly 10% of all healthy couples will experience fertility issues while trying to conceive. While there are many contributing factors and variables that account for infertility, it is believed that it is equally the male, female and unknown causes that can be attributed with bringing about fertility problems. Unfortunately, the main contributor to these types of complications is age.

The Role Age Plays

A healthy and normal female’s fertility will generally peak during their mid-20’s and start to decline closer to the age of 30-years, declining even faster as she moves towards 40. This means that if you are in your thirties and are trying to conceive, you should take the proper measures and have intercourse at your most fertile times of the month. If you are over the age of thirty-five it could be advisable to consult a fertility specialist.

Although it has been widely regarded that a woman’s age is the only contributor, recent data has displayed that age-related fertility issues also apply to men. While there is still more research to do in this field, it has been proven that paternal age does play a role as well.

Weight Is A Factor

Statistics show that at least 12 out of a 100 infertility cases are caused by some sort of weight problem. When your body does not receive the proper nourishment, if you are malnourished or have an eating disorder – often times menstruation is not possible. As a body fat index of at least 22% is needed for normal fertility function, women who are underweight can struggle to fall pregnant. The same goes for women that are overweight. As excess body fat has the ability to change and interfere with several chemical reactions and hormones responsible for ovulation. And while shifting your weight up and down with a few pounds could resolve related fertility problems, overeating and crash diets can do more harm than good. It is also important to note that your weight also contributes to your overall health while pregnant.

While getting pregnant may be your first and only concern at the moment, it is crucial to properly educate yourself on your fertility and how you can conceive healthily and happily. With so many factors affecting fertility levels, ensure that you take the appropriate measures to increase your chances of conception.







Magnesium: The Miracle Mineral

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under R.McAllister

Woman wit her eyes closed under the wind.

How’s your magnesium level? If you have no idea, you have plenty of company! Magnesium is a mineral that many of us don’t think about—even though it’s an essential mineral that your body needs to function properly.

Truth be told, even if you did know your magnesium level, there’s a good chance it would be too low. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium.

But here’s the good news: If you’re able to get enough magnesium, it can benefit your body in many ways. Magnesium can…

  • Offset the negative effects of stress: Most people suffer from the stress of trying to do too much, too perfectly, and too fast.
  • Soothe the gastrointestinal tract: Magnesium also offers laxative properties.
  • Boost brainpower: This is especially the case in people with memory problems.
  • Increase energy: If your magnesium level is low, your body has to work harder to do even basic tasks, which can make you feel tired. Studies have shown that women with magnesium deficiencies had higher heart rates and required more oxygen to do physical tasks then they did after their magnesium levels were restored to normal.
  • Ease anxiety and/or insomnia: Magnesium helps to promote a sense of calm and can facilitate more restful sleep.
  • Cure a migraine pronto!

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is about 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. One way to get more magnesium is to eat a handful of almonds, hazelnuts, or cashews.

Another easy and tasty way is with a supplement called Natural Calm, which has been a best selling supplement for 9 years. It’s a flavorful powder that dissolves easily in water, tea, or other beverages. Natural Calm supports heart health, bone health, better sleep, and natural energy production. It comes in a variety of delicious, organic flavors that are naturally sweetened with organic stevia. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and non GMO. You can buy Natural Calm online and in health food stores for around $15. Visit NaturalVitality.com/natural-calm for more information.

About the author: Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, is a family physician and mom of three sons in Lexington, KY. She’s the co-author of the Mommy MD Guide books, including The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth.

Your Less-Than Fertile Forties

August 1, 2013 by  
Filed under J.Bright

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Jennifer Bright Reich

My thirties totally snuck up on me. I was busy transitioning from being a Lieutenant in the Army to civilian life back home, gearing up my job with a publishing company, and enjoying married life. It’s amazing how fast the time went.

Finally, at age 35, I was ready to start a family. Fortunately, my fertility cooperated, and I got pregnant easily. Sadly, I watched as many of my friends who were my age and older didn’t have the same experience.

It turns out that I had plenty of company with many women waiting like I did to try to get pregnant. Approximately 20 percent of women wait until age 35 to start trying to get pregnant.

Yet ironically, the time is ticking away much faster than our own biological clocks are. Fertility begins to decline as early as the late 20s. A healthy 30-year-old woman has a 20 percent chance per month to get pregnant. A healthy 40-year-old woman, on the other hand, has only a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant per month according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

So it’s not surprising that Mother Nature needs some help now and then. More than 6.7 million women (almost 11 percent of US women), ages 15 to 44, have impaired fertility or ability to carry a baby to term, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 7.4 million women in the United States have used infertility services, according to the CDC.

Fortunately, infertility specialists, such as the physicians at HRC Fertility’s Pacadena, California, Fertility Clinics, have treatments designed specifically for women in this age group. They understand the diminished fertility of women in their forties and also the additional pregnancy risks women in this age group face. Physicians such as HRC’s Bradford A. Kolb, MD, FACOGJeffrey R. Nelson, DO, FACOOG; and John Wilcox, MD, FACOG, offer help—and hope. HRC has a second office, HRC Fertility’s Rancho Cucamonga, California, Fertility Clinic, where physicians such as  John M. Norian, MD, FACOG, and Jeffrey R. Nelson, DO, FACOOG, work with patients.

Visit www.havingbabies.com for more information on getting pregnant, infertility treatments, and more.


About the author: Jennifer Bright Reich is coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, cofounder of MommyMDGuides.com, and a mom of two sons, in Allentown, PA. She was compensated by HRC for this blog but feels so passionately about the topic would have written about it for free.

Help Us Help Libraries–and Moms!

July 5, 2013 by  
Filed under J.Bright

Our company, Momosa Publishing LLC, publisher of the Mommy MD Guides book series, is pleased to announce it is donating 200 books to inner-city, military, and rural libraries!

When we reach 100,000 Facebook Likes, we will donate 200 more books!

My cofounder Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH (mom of a US Marine) and I (former US Army Lieutenant) are passionate about our mission to help moms and moms-to-be lead healthier, happier lives.

Our company publishes The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year, The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years, and coming this fall The Mommy MD Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great!

The books in the series and companion website www.mommymdguides.com all are filled with tips that Mommy MD Guides, doctors who are also mothers, use for their own families. The reassuring, trusted, and often even humorous tips in this book series are presented in the Mommy MD Guides’ own words, and each tip is clearly attributed to the doctor who lived it.

The Mommy MD Guides answer readers’ questions for free at www.MommyMDGuides.com. They also answer media questions, by email or phone, via the portal at media@mommymdguides.com or contact me directly at jenniferreich@mommymdguides.com.

Please like our Facebook page.



What Is Happening in There?

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

There could be moments during pregnancy when you want some alone time. Not necessarily because you need time to yourself. More like you want time to let your body do its things without others having to witness such awkward moments.

Did you ever get a pain in your chest? Just above your lungs? Part burn, part pressure. Like maybe after eating a double cheeseburger with the works? I can count on that pain after a shot (or two) of Tequila. Or eating while pregnant. Hello, heartburn.

Of course I know that bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits and chili cheese dogs do not appear in any list of top 10 healthy foods. But while I was pregnant, they kicked off episodes of heartburn strong enough to make me believe that my child was setting my insides on fire. I mean, who does that to their mother?

But at some point, that heartburn subsides. But not before disguising itself as gas so bad you’ll put your husband and your dog to shame. The point where you realize you don’t have control over major bodily functions starts there.

And be prepared for the possibility that it all just stops. Bowel movements, that is. Yep. You’re eating for two and pooping for none. And now you have this enormous discomfort in your lower half. Which, of course, is complicated by the fact that you also have a baby constantly perched in the same area, putting more pressure on the area that’s backed up. I hate to pile on, but I wonder if this is a good place to mention that this horrible game of dominos could be further complicated with hemorrhoids?

All that might be a bit more tolerable if sleep were on the horizon. My biggest obstacle with sleeping was me. There was just too much of me. By the seventh month, I couldn’t get comfortable. Many nights were spent flopping from one side to the other. I was grateful not to have a water bed because I was certain the liquid-filled mattress would smack me back in the face. Someone suggested I use a body pillow, one that runs almost the length of your body. Bingo. I would wrap my legs around it, and I was golden. Never mind that it must have looked like my overstretched body was humping five feet of stuffed fabric.

Eh, so what. Walk around rubbing your chest and scratching your bottom. Straddle a pillow. It may guarantee that alone time you wished for.

Brotherly Advice

April 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

I have five siblings, all older. And long before I had children, they had 10 children among them. Seemed like every year, someone was popping out a kid. I fondly recall the late-night or early-morning calls to the house, my mother squealing with excitement that another child had been born into the family. People squealing just because you were born? What a sweet gig!

Then came the visits. My mom would get so excited to see them. I would get so excited to see them. Cute, cuddly babies coming to our house! Way better than my dolls. These babies were breathing, giggling, waddling little beings. Real skin, real food. And that real brand-new baby smell.

And I would swell with joy at the thought of being able to babysit for them. I was the trusted younger sister (for once) who got to entertain a miniperson not even two years old. I couldn’t resist being around them. There’s an automatic lure to someone who is one-sixteenth the size of a full-grown human. Babies are like the model airplanes of the human species. It’s hard not to stare and ooohh and ahhhh over them.

Watching my brothers- and sisters-in-law raising their own young kids solidified that I too was going to have kids. The parent-child connection was amazing (remember I’m talking babies not teenagers here). When a baby’s cries lingered too long, I’d hand him or her back to the parents, and almost instantly, the crying would stop. If the baby was feeling sick or got hurt, they had the cure. It’s as if they were a mobile triage unit!

At a young age, I knew that motherhood was in my future. Until at some point, it was explained exactly where babies came from. Exactly where. And for several years, I believe that explanation may have been the cheapest, best form of birth control. That and what I recall one of my brothers saying about a baby’s head at birth—that it wasn’t much bigger than a coffee pot. After that, I saw babies’ heads in a totally different light. Coffee pots too.

The Blame Game

March 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Do you ever blame someone or something because you don’t want to take the fall or because there is no logical explanation? All this time, I thought I had done something horrible to make my left foot bigger! Maybe I chewed more on my left side. Or was it because I was right-footed and my left foot never got an adequate workout? Was it some left-brain/right-brain thing?

The truth is that both feet were wide and squishy (pretty much like the rest of me during pregnancy), and it wasn’t until well after having kids that I noticed the left foot was noticeably larger than the right. I kept thinking it was the shoes I was wearing. As if, ironically, every shoe was tighter on the left side. Shoe shopping is as dreaded as trying to find a two-piece bathing suit. One size never fits both parts, and something is always hanging out.

But alas, there is something to pin the blame on: pregnancy. A study was done that confirms that something happens to your arch during pregnancy and a woman’s feet may get bigger. Okay, so the study was more scientific, with anatomical terms and stuff. But who cares about all the jargon? It’s not our fault!

So yeah. Let’s see what else pregnancy can take credit (or blame) for. Welcome stretch marks. Okay, a moment of truth. I had a few (who’s counting) stretch marks before pregnancy. Somehow, between my carefree I-can-eat-anything years of my twenties and the oh-my-goodness, I-have-muffin-tops reality of my thirties, I lost and gained a few pounds, thus resulting in the appearance of stretch marks. But (besides you), no one knows that. So, blame away!

It wouldn’t be fair to leave the legs out of this game. Some of us have things down the backs of our legs. No. Not tattoos. Varicose veins. Mine got to the point where they looked like Google maps. Like you were looking at an aerial view of a mountain range. That extra weight is bound to have an effect on the very things that have to carry you.

Say hello to your hormones. They will be responsible for your forgetting simple things. Like people’s names. And your social security number. And something else, but you can’t remember what it was! And when you aren’t feeling anxious, you can thank your hormones for your feeling as if you had just watched an hour of back-to-back Hallmark commercials. Tissue, please.

That last trimester is when things move and settle. Like on your bladder. Ever heard of “sneeze pee”? You know, when people sneeze and a little bit of pee comes out. Well, at around seven months, it’s more than sneeze pee. It’s more like a walk pee, a talk pee, and a breathe pee.

So blame away while you can! No need to rush into taking the fall for everything. There’ll be plenty of time for that.

A Little Slack, Please

March 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Women in China have been so desperate for seats on crowded subways that they have resorted to using fake baby bumps. People probably shouldn’t become pregnant for perks. That’s what credit cards and frequent-flyer memberships are for. But still, if ever there was a time to give someone some slack, pregnancy should be it.

Sadly, mall parking lots are not filled with nice people. Or rather, they’re overshadowed by the not-so-nice people: the ones cutting people off, parking in restricted spots, and yelling obscenities loud enough to alert mall security.

Charles and I were at a shopping mall when I was six months pregnant. We’d circled the lot for 15 minutes trying to find a spot that wasn’t too far away from the entrance. Finally, we found one. And so did someone else. There was a bit of a game of chicken, along with some hand gestures. But we ended up getting the space. But not before the driver of the other car shot some crude words at my husband. It was a true Jerry Springer moment as I kept thinking, This is not happening.

As I moved from behind the car, it was obvious I was upset. And pregnant. At that point, the other driver stepped back and shrugged it all off.

So you’ve heard that memory is an issue during pregnancy. Believe it. And remember how your home alarm system works. One trip of the alarm, and we had a visit from half a dozen firefighters on a shiny fire engine. As they walked up the steps, I was trying to think of something—anything— to say as to why I summoned them. As I met them on the front porch, a wave of smiles moved across their faces as I apologized, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

They had a good chuckle, and one of them explained, “Well, you’re pregnant, and you have enough going on. We understand.” And that was it. No chastising or criticism. Not even a bill!

You might feel strong while you’re pregnant, but why risk it? We were trying to move a couch into a new place and as soon as the neighbors saw that, they practically pushed me out of the way. There’s really never a need to argue with anyone who’s willing to do manual labor for you.

Thank goodness for the kindness of others. From opening doors to going to the head of the line in a public restroom, having a visible baby bump has some benefits. As for using a fake one? After nine months, you’ll have some explaining to do.


March 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Maybe you aren’t a big planner, but somehow, the closer you get to having kids, you start trying to get organized. Or as close to it as you can. You get the house ready. You have your showers. The car seat is finally installed correctly, and your bag is packed.

And after the baby arrives, so do the guests. I used to think it would be best to just have it be my husband and me at the hospital, but then I realized that people really want to share in your joy and excitement. And as I found out, they bring gifts! But who and when do you call or Facebook? You don’t want to forget anyone, but you also don’t want to assume that everyone will want to be there. As it turns out, word spreads like wildfire. You tell one person, and they’ll tell 50!

Our first son was born via C-section. So we had a little over an hour to get the word out. By the time I dressed for surgery, three friends were already at the hospital. My very own pregnancy posse, ready to cheer me on. And I was grateful because it kept my mind off the fact that my life, my sanity, and my abdomen were about to change forever.

After the surgery, guests drifted into the recovery room. And I drifted into a haze of confusion. They were so cheerful, while foggy best describes my mental state. Plus, I was numb from the anesthesia. Foggy and numb. It was like the morning after a bachelorette party. So not the way I wanted to start my new role as a mom. I kept obsessing about two things: why I couldn’t feel my legs and where my baby was. Meanwhile, our visitors were gushing about how beautiful the baby was. At one point, a nurse told me my brother got to hold the baby. I was confused. I hadn’t seen my brother or the baby, but they had already met!

During my stay at the hospital, guests continued to stop by. It was nice to have support. But I was exhausted, trying to heal from surgery and battling how to get the baby to nurse. Nothing breaks up a good gathering like showing off your bloody dressing or whipping out your boob and trying not to cry as your newborn latches on tighter than a suction cup.

You love your friends. But they get that you may need a little space. As you tactfully usher them to the hallway, make sure to invite them to your house. You’ll need some company after you finally find your legs, some of your sanity, and that kid you apparently had.

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The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.