Caring for Mothers and Babies: A Guide to Better Oral Health

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this May, let’s remember how important mothers are for both their children’s well-being and their own health. During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many changes. While most changes during pregnancy are good for the baby’s growth, some can harm health. One example is pregnancy-induced sleep apnea, which causes breathing problems during sleep. A recent article published in the Journal of the American Orthodontic Society1 discusses the factors that contribute to pregnancy-induced sleep apnea and the health consequences for mothers and newborns if left untreated.

Pregnancy, sleep-apnea, and oral health

Sleep apnea occurs when an individual repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing pregnancy-induced sleep apnea due to hormonal changes and weight gain. These factors can increase mucus production, cause swelling in the airway, and increase pressure on the lungs. Sleep apnea in pregnant women is dangerous, and can lead to:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Mouth-breathing
  • Dry mouth

When sleep apnea affects the oral cavity, healthy bacteria that support gum and tooth health may be reduced. Mouth-breathing and dry mouth can also lead to higher levels of oral pathogens and health conditions such as gum disease. This results in a microbial imbalance which can have serious consequences for the mother and baby. Studies have shown that both gum disease and sleep apnea may affect fetal brain development, resulting in children with sensory issues and/or learning disabilities. Additionally, gum disease has been associated with premature and low birth weight infants. Early detection of sleep apnea and associated oral health issues in pregnant women is crucial for the health of both mother and baby.

Supporting oral health during pregnancy

The good news is that there’s a simple solution to support oral health during pregnancy: oral-care probiotics. By supplementing the oral cavity with probiotics, mothers can support their own health and that of their babies, potentially reducing the risk of complications during pregnancy and beyond. Studies have shown that probiotic supplementation can positively influence the maternal oral microbiome, decreasing levels of harmful bacteria and promoting oral health.

ProBiora’s patented blend of probiotics, ProBiora3®, contains three beneficial Streptococcus strains: S. oralis KJ3, S. uberis KJ2, and S. rattus JH145. ProBiora3 strains work together to:

  • Reduce levels of bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities
  • Improve breath
  • Gently and naturally whiten teeth
  • Support overall oral health

Expecting mothers can easily add ProBiora’s oral-care probiotics to their daily routine: simply dissolve one tablet in the mouth after tooth brushing (preferably at bedtime). When used daily, the beneficial bacteria in ProBiora products helps maintain the natural microbial balance in the oral cavity, supporting healthy teeth and gums.

Probiotics are a simple, effective solution to promote oral health. This May, let’s empower the mothers, grandmothers, and all the women in our lives to prioritize their oral health to ensure a brighter, healthier future for all.

1Cannon M, Beattie RE. The Fundamentals of Maternal Oral Health and Pregnancy Onset Sleep Apnea. Journal of the American Orthodontic Society. Spring 2024, pg. 26-29.