Dental Visits May Help Your Baby Arrive On Schedule
Periodontal therapy may reduce the risk of delivering a preterm, low birth weight baby. There is good news today for pregnant women a study in this months issue of the Journal of Periodontology (JOP) showed that periodontal therapy may significantly reduce the risk of delivering a preterm low birth weight baby for women with periodontal disease.
The study looked at 328 pregnant women with periodontal disease and 122 periodontally healthy women. Periodontal treatment was performed during the second trimester of pregnancy on 266 of the women with periodontal disease. Sixty-two women dropped out of treatment. Postpartum follow up on all 450 subjects showed that 79% of the women with untreated periodontal disease had delivered a preterm low birth weight baby compared to only 7.5% of the periodontally treated women and 4.1% of the healthy women.
“Our study showed that performing periodontal therapy on pregnant women who have periodontal disease may reduce the risk of preterm delivery to equal that of periodontally healthy women,” explained study author Catia M. Gazolla, DDS. “These are important findings that we hope all pregnant women will take to their dental professionals when discussing their periodontal health.”
“These findings are interesting, as they come on the heels of another study appearing in the May issue of the JOP that showed the effects of high levels of periodontal bacteria during pregnancy on increased risk for preterm delivery,” said Preston D. Miller, DDS and AAP president. “These studies and others continue to strengthen the idea that women should consider a periodontal evaluation as part of their prenatal care.”
To asses your oral health, take the AAPs online test to assess your gum disease risk.