A study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found that pregnant women with chronic gum disease were between 4- and 7-times more likely to deliver prematurely (before 37 weeks) than those with healthy gums; furthermore, women in the group with more severe periodontal disease delivered even earlier (before 32 weeks). So what is a concerned dentist to do?
If your patients have mentioned wanting to start families, or if they have given birth prematurely already, you may want to speak to them about the importance of taking care of their teeth. Most people don?t know that even neglecting brushing and flossing for a day or two can cause gingivitis to develop this may be why (according to the National Center for Health Statistics) 45% of women between the ages of 35 and 44 have gingivitis, and an additional 15% have periodontitis.
There?s an old wives? tale that a woman loses a tooth with every pregnancy?and these new findings may support the old legend. Fortunately, it?s nothing good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and using dental flossers can?t fix.