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Periodontal Disease Not a Cause for Premature Delivery

A novel study has found that gum disease in an expectant mother does not play an important role in triggering premature delivery or delivering a low-weight baby.//

Since one in ten babies are born before term or are low birth weight, that makes them prone to a host of health problems, that includes enhanced chance of death, scientists thought it imperative to examine if treating periodontal disease in pregnant women could reduce premature delivery or influence pregnancy outcomes.

In their study, the scientists analyzed 823 pregnant women suffering periodontal disease. Nearly 413 women received treatment for periodontal disease between 13 and 21 weeks gestation. The remaining women in the group were left with absolutely no treatment. The study found that treating periodontal disease in pregnant women did not cause any major side effects. But the treatment did not seem to influence pre-term births or low birth weight in any manner.

Dr. Robert Goldenberg, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said "All the current study says is that a single-bullet approach doesn't seem to work. You have to look at all of the risk factors, not just one, and reduce as many as possible. Women should have routine dental care all the time. One of the things this study did show is that even scaling and root planing don't seem to have any safety issues associated with it. There's no reason not to get appropriate dental care during pregnancy; it's just not likely to reduce prematurity."


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