Early births reduced by gum disease treatment
 

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Early births reduced by gum disease treatment

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Early births reduced by gum disease treatment

 

Early births reduced by gum disease treatment

A new study has revealed the strongest suggestion yet that successful treatment of periodontal disease reduces the number of premature babies.
 
The findings, which were publicised at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research in Washington last week, followed more than 1,000 pregnant women between six and 20 weeks gestation.
 
The study monitored 160 participants diagnosed with periodontal disease and compared them to 872 pregnant women who had good levels of oral health.
 
The results showed that subjects who were successfully treated for their periodontal disease had significantly lower incidence of preterm birth less than 35 weeks gestation.
 
Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, believes this paper adds weight to the growing evidence around links between gum disease and pre-term babies.
 
Dr Carter said: 'Together with a paper presented at last year's IADR in Miami this proves a positive link between successful treatment of the gum disease and reducing the likelihood of a pre-term birth.
 
'It is further strong evidence that pregnant women should take care of their periodontal health and receive appropriate treatment during their pregnancy to reduce as far as possible their chance of a pre-term birth.'
 
The research showed that women with periodontal disease were over three times more likely to give birth prematurely than women with good oral health and had a one in four chance of giving birth before 35 weeks.
 
Those who had gum disease were treated with scaling and root planning, with periodontal examinations before and after the procedures.
 
The research, entitled Risk of Preterm Birth Is Reduced with Successful Periodontal Treatment was presented on by the lead author M. Jeffcott on March 5 during the 39th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.
 
Dr Carter added: 'Due to hormone changes during pregnancy, some women's dental health needs closer attention during this time.'
 
The study follows the first documented link earlier this year between a foetal death and the mother's pregnancy–related gum disease.
 
'The case has shown that improving oral healthcare amongst pregnant women can have a significant impact on an unborn baby. For some women, teeth become less of a priority while they are pregnant and this can also prove a big factor on the baby's health.'

 Posted on : Wed 10th - Mar - 2010

 

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