Keeping Your Gums Healthy Helps Pregnancy
A recent study shows that maintaining healthy gums during pregnancy may be associated with pregnancies that go full term.
Why is a full term pregnancy important?
Fetuses require the full term, which is 37 weeks, for the infant’s body to develop fully. By comparison, preterm pregnancies are childbirths that occur prior to full term development. Babies are still developing during the last months and weeks of pregnancy. In fact, their brains, lungs, and liver need the full term to completely develop. Problems that can arise with premature birth include: trouble breathing, difficulty with feeding, cerebral palsy along with vision and hearing problems. (Reference: cdc.gov)
Details from a study regarding healthy gums during pregnancy
US News reported details from a study that compared women who went full term with women who didn’t. In the study, 33 women had preterm child births and 44 had full term pregnancies. The study found that women with premature births frequently had:
- Inflamed gums
- Pocket loss of supporting tissue around teeth
- Bleeding gums
Furthermore, the study compared the women’s ages, medications, health conditions and smoking habits. They also took plaque samples and identified bacteria through gene sequencing. The studied showed that women with preterm births had different types of bacteria growing under and on their teeth.
The study concluded that the birth weight of preterm babies from mothers who had gum disease was substantially lower. In addition, it showed that gum disease can eventually lead to bone and tooth loss in the mother.
It is wise for women to receive dental checkups during pregnancy. It protects their own health as well as their unborn child’s.