Pregnancy
10 weeks and 5 days pregnant

The external ear is now more clearly seen as it makes its way to its final position. The eyes are also much closer to their final position and the neck continues to lengthen. The baby’s hands often touch his mouth, providing important sensory feedback.

Healthy teeth and gums are essential in pregnancy, so brush thoroughly and go for regular dental appointments.

Make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and gums.The hormone progesterone causes gum tissue to soften and it’s therefore more likely to bleed when brushed and to become infected. Unfortunately, there is a link between gum disease and premature birth. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease release toxins into the mother’s bloodstream, which reach the placenta and can affect the baby’s growth. The infection can also lead to the production of inflammatory chemicals that can cause the cervix to dilate and trigger contractions.

You’re entitled to free dental treatment on the National Health Service (NHS) throughout your pregnancy and until your baby’s first birthday. It’s safe to have a local anaesthetic injection while you are pregnant. If you need antibiotics to treat an infection, remind your dentist you are pregnant so that medications that are safe in pregnancy are prescribed.

If your dentist needs to take X-rays of your mouth, he or she will protect your baby by covering your tummy with a lead apron.

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Make sure that you brush your teeth regularly, or even more often than usual, and ensure that you floss well. This will reduce the risk of your gums being infected.

Why am I getting more vaginal discharge since being pregnant?

In pregnancy, the layer of muscle in the vagina thickens, and cells lining the vagina multiply in response to an increase in the pregnancy hormone oestrogen. These changes prepare the vagina for childbirth. As a side effect, the extra cells mean that there is an increase in vaginal discharge, known as leucorrhoea.

If you feel sore or itchy in the vaginal area and the discharge is anything other than cream or white, or it smells, your doctor will need to take a swab to rule out infection.

Some infections, such as thrush, cause an abnormal discharge. They are common in pregnancy and are easily treated. Over-the-counter creams and pessaries, inserted into the vagina, are the most effective treatment for thrush. They are not harmful in pregnancy and one pessary often clears the problem. Don’t take oral medication for thrush.

A US study found that, on average, mothers with one child were missing two or three teeth, and those with four or more children were missing between four and eight teeth.

So the old wives’ tale that “You will lose a tooth for every child” could have some basis in truth. There’s no doubt that the hormonal changes occuring during pregnancy make gum disease more likely.

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