Research has indicated that women with periodontal disease may be at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as giving birth to a pre-term or low-birth-weight baby, report the Academy of Periodontology and the European Federation of Periodontology. Periodontal disease is a chronic, bacteria-induced, inflammatory condition that attacks the gum tissue and in more severe cases, the bone supporting the teeth.
Several research studies have suggested that women with periodontal disease may be more likely to deliver babies prematurely or with low birth weight than mothers with healthy gums. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, babies with a birth weight of less than 5.5 pounds may be at risk of long-term health problems such as delayed motor skills, social growth, or learning disabilities. Other issues associated with pre-term birth include respiratory problems, vision and hearing loss, or feeding and digestive problems.
Routine brushing and flossing, and seeing a dentist, or dental hygienist for a comprehensive periodontal evaluation during pregnancy may decrease the chance of adverse pregnancy complications.
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