How will my systemic health affect the baby?

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For many women, once they become pregnant, their baby becomes their biggest concern. I don’t blame them because every mother’s concern is for her baby to come out healthy. It is possible for complications to rise if the mother is not healthy. Many systemic conditions that the mother has been diagnosed with may or may not have a high risk towards affecting the fetus such as diabetes, congenital syphilis, etc. Complications may occur before or even after giving birth.


(Pinterest, n.d.)

Congenital Syphilis is an infection caused by a bacterium which can cause serious long-term consequences if untreated and a high chance of the baby being infected (Babycenter, n.d.). It also affects the baby’s teeth by getting Hutchinson’s incisors which cause them to have widely spaced teeth, incisors will be shaped as a screwdriver with a crescent-shaped deformity. Also, another condition known as mulberry molars appear on the first permanent molars and resemble the appearance of berries.

                                                      (King Nail, 2018)
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(Orenstein, 2017)

Diabetes is considered a high risk during pregnancy. If diabetes is not controlled, miscarriage may occur as well as birth defects and pregnancy induced hypertension. Gestational diabetes usually arises during pregnancy, however, it is possible to decrease complications by self-care and medical guidance (AboutKidsHealth, 2009).

Pregnant women with diabetes can have oral complications such as periodontal disease, slow wound healing, increases susceptibility to infections and plaque, dry mouth and fungal infections (Tigner, 2018). It is not necessary that it will affect the baby’s oral health, unless diabetes is carried over.

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(Julie, 2017)

Due to hormonal change in the mother during pregnancy, it can affect her oral health by developing a pregnancy tumor known as ‘pyogenic granuloma’, it may occur mostly after the first trimester. This results due to risk factors of poor oral hygiene and gingivitis (DoveMed, 2015).  
Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 1.12.58 PM.pngGardner Syndrome is inherited in an autosomal dominant disorder. It is very possible for the mother to pass along the altered gene to her baby. It can be identified by dental examination as it is known to cause dental abnormalities (GARD, 2015). The baby’s teeth to become duplicated, in addition to the regular number of teeth. It is known as ‘supernumerary teeth’ and also causes lower jaw deformities (Cankaya et al., 2012).

(Slideshare, 2016)


Other indications of use during pregnancy

  • Taking folic acid during pregnancy or even before can help prevent birth defects.
  • Increasing calcium in your diet helps for the bone and teeth development of the baby’s teeth.
  • Scurvy caused by Vitamin C deficiency may cause small red/purple dots on the skin and oral cavity. This may lead to gingival hypertrophy, erosive and bleeding gums for the mother and if passed through the placental barrier to the fetus (Health & Medicine, 2016).
  • Do not drink alcohol when pregnant, as it can pass from the mother’s blood into the baby’s blood and affect the baby’s growth by damaging the brain and spinal cord cells (HealthLinkBC, 2017).
  • As we all know smoking causes cancer, heart disease, etc. Smoking during pregnancy causes additional health problems such as infant death, birth defects and preterm babies (CDC, 2018).

Post written by: Sara Alarabi



AboutKidsHealth. (2009). Maternal conditions and pregnancy. Retrieved from

Babycenter. (n.d.). Syphilis during pregnancy. Retrieved from

Cankaya  (2012). Oral and Maxillofacial Consideration in Gardner’s Syndrome. Retrieved from

CDC. (2018). Tobacco Use and Pregnancy. Retrieved from

DoveMed. (2015). Pyogenic Granuloma of Pregnancy. Retrieved from

Beth Orenstein. (2017). Retrieved from

GARD. (2015). Gardner Syndrome. Retrieved from

HealthLinkBC. (2017). Alcohol Effects on a Fetus. Retrieved from

Health & Medicine. (2016). Oral manifestations of systemic diseases. Retrieved from

Julie. (2017). Retreived from

King Nail. (2018). Retrieved from

Pinterest. (n.d.)

Slideshare. (2016). Retrieved from

Tigner, M. (2018). Oral Pathology II. Retrieved from Blackboard.


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