It seems that every year, researchers discover new links between poor oral health and other, seemingly unrelated diseases. Scientists are finding that tooth decay and gum disease could be indicative of illnesses that affect the whole body, and now a new study has shown that pregnant women with gum disease are significantly more likely to go into early labour.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, and found that women who entered labour early were one and a half times more likely (45%) to have gum disease than women who experienced a perfect pregnancy (29%). The study also found that early birth rates were more common for women with untreated tooth decay or fillings. As part of the study, researchers examined the pregnancies and oral health of almost 150 women. They found that women who went into early labour recorded gum health scores four times lower than those who had a timelier birth, whilst also having eight times more plaque!
This is further proof that the health of our mouth can have a direct influence on many parts of our general health- including the chances of having a safer birth. It’s understandable that with all the stresses and strains of pregnancy, maintaining an oral health schedule can fall by the wayside, but expectant mothers need to take care of their mouths more than most. This is because hormonal changes during pregnancy can leave gums and teeth more vulnerable to plaque, leaving them sore and swollen, and even bleeding.
If you are expecting, to make sure your pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible it’s important to give your mouth the best care- maintain a strong oral health routine by brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing in-between teeth. Here at Mount Oval Dental Practice we care deeply about your oral health, so if you’re pregnant (or not) and want to ensure your mouth is in optimal condition, just give us a call on 021 489 8784 and we’ll book you in for an appointment as soon as possible.