Teeth and Gums in Pregnancy

Almost half of  pregnant women experience tenderness and swelling of gums. This condition is known as pregnancy gingivitis.  Gums are more likely to swell up due to hormonal changes that increase the blood flow to the gum tissue. This makes gums more sensitive, irritable and susceptible to bacteria and plaque. The severity of gingivitis usually increases in the 2nd trimester and  subsides after birth. Pregnancy gingivitis can produce the following symptoms:

  • Sore gums
  • Bleeding upon chewing and brushing due to plaque build up
  • A small nodule may  develop on the gums called pyogenic granuloma. This usually goes away on its own after delivery.
  • Bad breath
  • Pus production
  • Loosening of teeth in severe conditions

If left unchecked the gingivitis may lead to a severe form of gum disease called periodontitis which is characterized by erosion of bone and tooth loss. Mild gingivitis does not complicate pregnancy as long as good oral hygiene is practiced. However, severe cases of gingivitis (periodontitis) have been linked to preterm births and low birth weight of the baby.

Therefore, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. Visiting the dentist for the oral check-ups is advised. Brushing twice a day  using a soft brush is important. Flossing should also be done to prevent plaque accumulation. Warm salt rinses may also be used once a day. A healthy diet should be taken containing calcium, vitamin C and B12 for healthier teeth and gums. Smoking should be given up at least during pregnancy. If you have morning sickness, thoroughly rinse the mouth after vomiting

Tansient Tachypnea

Affecting 1% to 2% of babies, It is a temporary  breathing disorder seen after the birth of the baby (more than 60 breaths per minute), Transient meant temporary.  this is caused by slow absorption of the fluid in the fetal lungs. Babies with transient tachypnoea present with  rapid breathing with grunting noises at times. Treatment may include a positive airway pressure, a breathing machine to keep the tiny air passages open. It tends to resolve quicky


Candida Albicans is the organism responsible for vaginal thrush. This fungi is present in our bodies though dormant. During pregnancy, the pH of the vagina becomes alkaline and due to increased oestrogen levels in the body, the vaginal cells become rich with glycogen. These conditions provide a perfect environment for the growth of  candida Albicans. women with uncontrolled diabetes are prone to thrush as well as those with a weakened immune system. In thrush, the vaginal secretions are thick and milky in texture. Thrush most frequently causes sores and itchiness around the affected area. The discharge is white and has a cottage cheese like consistency. This is accompanied by pain and burning sensation during urination. Avoiding products which can irritate the vagina is important. Probiotics are also helpful as they can add balance

A Healthy diet is vital in the treatment of thrush. Green vegetables, proteins, and essential fats must be included in the diet so as to boost your immune system and ward of infections.  Try to cut out or at least minimize sugars as candida feeds on sugars. Wear clothing that is comfortable and not tight, good personal hygiene is a must. If you have thrush and give birth to your baby via the vagina your baby  may get white patches in the mouth which can  then be transferred back to the mother whilst breastfeeding. Therefore, it is advised to see the doctor as soon as symptoms of thrush develop.


Tapeworms are flat, segmented worms that live in the intestines of humans or animals. They are parasites they feed of the host.   Possible signs of a tapeworm infestation can include nausea, weakness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue and mineral deficiencies. However it is important to note that often tapeworms don’t cause symptoms. One sure  sign of tapeworm contamination is segments of the worms in the stool moving when you have opened your bowels/stool. In rare cases, tapeworms can lead to serious problems like  obstructing the intestine


A baby is teething when its first set of teeth, called primary teeth, erupts through the gums. Teething usually begins around 5-6 months of age. However it can also occur at any time between 3 months to a year 1 year. Some babies are more irritable than usual when they are teething. These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days before the tooth shows, and disappears as soon as the tooth is out.


Fever in newborns is very uncommon and happens when the body  is fighting an underlying condition. Babies under 6 months of age tend to have a  fever when they’re fighting an infection or illness most common being  colds, fly, croup, ear infection or bacterial and viral infections. Normal baby temperature is between 36 and 37F, anything above this is counted as fever.


Tetanus is a serious infection caused by a bacterium called Clostridium tetani which is usually found in the soil. This bacterium produces a toxin that affects the brain and nervous system, leading to stiffness in the muscles. The infection can cause severe muscle spasms, serious breathing difficulties, and can ultimately be fatal. I can be  contracted via  wounds that have been contaminated with saliva or faeces,  burns, wounds that include necrotic (dead) tissue and puncture wounds.

Testicular torsion

Normally, the testicles can’t move easily inside the scrotum. Testicular torsion occurs when the spermatic cord that delivers blood flow to the testicle rotates and becomes twisted, usually due to an injury or medical condition. This hinders the testicle’s blood supply and causes unexpected, severe discomfort and swelling.. Baby boys who experience torsion sometimes have weaker connective tissue in the scrotum. Testicular torsion usually happens in  one testicle. Bilateral torsion, when both testes are concurrently affected, is very rare.


Threadworms are small, white coloured worms that contaminate the intestines. Children are more susceptible to it as they have lower immunity. Threadworms are passed on by poor hygiene, not using proper sanitary measures or coming into contact with objects contaminated by the worm’s eggs. Severe or tenacious threadworm infections can cause loss of appetite, weight loss, Maintaining proper sanitary conditions can alleviate complications of threadworms.

Thyroid Disorders in the Newborn

Thyroid gland plays an important role in mental and physical development of the newborn. Thyroid disorders occur when there’s very little or no secretion from the thyroid glands (hypothyroidism), or when the gland produces excessive secretions (hyperthyroidism). Hypothyroidism is marked by lethargy, poor muscle tone and constipation among other symptoms. If untreated, it may lead to impaired mental activity. Hyperthyroidism is marked by a high metabolic rate, rapid heart beat and rapid breathing among other symptoms. Newborn may have bulging eyes or  the thyroid gland pressing against the windpipe, this hinders breathing.


Infant Torticollis is a birth injury  condition also known as ‘wry neck’. It occurs when baby’s neck is twisted during birth resulting in head tilting towards one side and the chin directed upwards. It might also be acquired later on due to illness such as a tumor or accidents. Infants also experience headaches, head tremors, neck pain and neck muscle stiffness.


Toxoplasmosis is a condition that develops as a result of an infection caused  by a  parasite toxoplasma gondii.  Most common in moist, warm climates. A blood test is done to diagnose the infection. Cats play a major role in the spread of this infection. Cats who are infected by eating infected birds or rodents pass this parasite in the faeces. We get infected when we touch our mouth after disposing of those faeces. Infections also occur due to eating raw or uncooked food that has been infected by toxoplasma gondii.

Toxoplasmosis presents as fever, swollen lymph nodes, confusion and body aches. More severe symptoms include blurred vision, seizures and lack of coordination. It causes mild symptoms in people with good immunity. However, in women who are not immune, it can cross the uterus barriers and, infect the placenta and the new-born. If a foetus is  infected with the parasite when still inside the uterus, on birth it shows signs of:

1. Low birth weight


3. Abnormalities of the retina

4. Brain damage

5. Abnormal head size

6. Enlarged spleen

7. Heart or lung infection.

Toxoplasmosis is more severe if the mother gets infected in the first or second trimester, the baby may be born prematurely. Experts say it is best to wait for 6 months to get pregnant after getting infected. There are several measures that should be taken in order to avoid catching this infection. It should be a normal practice to thoroughly wash hands after contact with cats and raw meat. Avoid disposing of cat waste while pregnant. If it is an absolute necessity to do so, wear gloves. Also, wear gloves while gardening. Freeze the meat well before cooking and cook it well to kill the parasite. Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and its products as well. There is no contraindication for an infected mother to breastfeed the baby. Treatment for toxoplasmosis includes an antibiotic course as per doctor’s recommendation.


 Typhoid or Typhoid fever is a   bacterial infection that can lead to a very  high fever it can cause severe complications and is  life-threatening. It is found in water or food by a human carrier thus  spread to other people. Symptoms include poor appetite, headaches, generalized pains and discomfort. Congestion of the chest may develop, abdominal pains and distress are common.