Dental treatment halves the risk of premature birth for

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Sydney, 06 Dec. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pregnant women with untreated gum inflammation are much more likely to have preterm labor or give birth to low birth weight babies.

New research from the University of Sydney shows that even mild inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can trigger premature births, but proper dental treatment cuts that risk in half.

This is good news for around 70% of pregnant women who develop gingivitis during pregnancy – due to hormonal changes, sugar cravings and frequent vomiting.

More than 1,000 patients from three randomized controlled trials participated in the study, which was recently published in the Journal of Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry.

“Our study shows that if gum inflammation is treated during pregnancy, the risk of a baby being born preterm is reduced by about 50%, or birth weight increases by about 100 grams in babies born with low birth weight,” said lead author Professor Joerg Eberhard. , Lifespan Oral Health Chair at the University of Sydney School of Dentistry.

“In fact, the risk was halved if the mother had good oral health, which is a compelling finding.”

Most people don’t realize that an untreated mouth infection can cause or worsen inflammation in other parts of the body and even reach the placenta.

The good news is that gingivitis can be easily reversed before it turns into periodontitis (serious gum disease). Treatment usually includes a thorough cleaning, mouthwashes, and antibiotics for more serious infections.

But there’s a challenge: Many women avoid going to the dentist during pregnancy — when they need it most — because they mistakenly believe that all dental treatments are dangerous during pregnancy.

Dr Alistair Graham of Mona Vale Dental says bleeding gums are a common symptom among his pregnant patients, who are often shocked when he points out that the whole body can be affected by gum disease.

“My patients want the best for their unborn babies, unfortunately they are generally unaware of the dangers of gingivitis because there is not enough public health awareness of this preventable and treatable disease during pregnancy,” Dr. Graham said.

He is particularly concerned about pregnant women with a medical condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Some women with HG may vomit more than 30 times a day. Stomach acid from frequent vomiting erodes tooth enamel and increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

“It’s not uncommon for pregnant women with hyperemesis gravidarum to go weeks or even months without brushing their teeth,” Dr. Graham said.

“The simple act of using a toothbrush or mouthwash can cause retching, making cleaning impossible.”

Early treatment is vital for all pregnant women with gingivitis, to give their baby the best start in life. Even better is to prevent gum inflammation from occurring in the first place, by paying close attention to dental hygiene.

Dr. Graham created The Ultimate Guide to Dental Care During Pregnancy to raise awareness of the dangers of gingivitis for unborn babies. It also covers common dental problems during pregnancy, symptoms to watch out for, treatment options, pregnancy-safe painkillers, natural remedies, and oral hygiene tips for women who are too nauseous to get pregnant. brush your teeth normally.

“One trick is to brush your back teeth before you clean the rest of your mouth, which helps you avoid taste buds on your tongue for as long as possible,” he says.

He urges all pregnant women to brush their teeth as best they can under the circumstances and to consult their dentist at the first signs of gum inflammation or tooth decay.

“A good oral hygiene routine can go a long way to improving your pregnancy outcomes, but even if you have oral inflammation, it can be successfully treated without harming your unborn baby.”

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For more information about Mona Vale Dental and Implant Center, contact the company here:

Mona Vale Dental and Implant Center
Dr Alistair Graham
+61 2 9997 1100
Level 1/8-10 Waratah St, Mona Vale NSW 2103, Australia


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