A German folk saying, "every child costs the mother one tooth" appears to be backed up by a recent research survey. Across socioeconomic classes researchers found a correlation between the number of children and the number of teeth a mother was missing; the more children, the more missing teeth. There was a difference between the number of teeth in each class, but the increase was notable for each additional child.
No conclusive results as to the cause have yet been determined, but there were some good suggestions in the article.
Women are more prone to gingivitis during pregnancy, when the response of the oral tissues to the bacteria in the mouth is altered, Russell said.
Gingivitis occurs when bacteria build up between the teeth and gums, causing inflammation and bleeding. Untreated, it can lead to more serious gum disease and eventually tooth loss.
In addition, Russell said women may be less likely to see a dentist while pregnant, perhaps in part because they want to avoid dental X-rays due to concern over radiation exposure.
Women with multiple children may also forgo their own dental care, possibly due to lack of money or time, Russell said.