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Gum disease during pregnancy may cause premature births

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A recent study has suggested that untreated periodontal disease during pregnancy may cause preterm births.

The study, conducted by the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, involved 1000 would-be-mothers who had symptoms of gum diseases. Of these, 160 were diagnosed with gum disease while the rest had better levels of oral health. The results showed that women who were not treated for the disease were more likely to give birth before 35 weeks. However, those who underwent the successful treatment for periodontal disease faced a lesser risk of giving preterm births. The study also found that untreated gum disease in pregnancy may also cause tooth decay in children.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter said, “This paper adds to the growing evidence around links between gum disease and pre-term babies.” She added, “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 study was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research in Washington.

Celebrities we have reported on the subject of pregnancy about include Rebecca Gayheart, Salma Hayek and Brooke Shields.

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Scorbutic_gums.jpg

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