Gum disease causes early births

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New research has suggested that treatment gum disease while pregnant can prevent the risk of premature births.

The study revealed that pregnant women who had untreated gum disease were at three times the risk of giving birth prior to 35 weeks.

The research, which was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, discovered that gum disease caused an increase in the creation of chemicals which induce labour.

British experts called on pregnant women to look after their oral health but said that there was not enough evidence to officially recognise an association between gum disease and premature birth.

British Dental Health Foundation chief exec Dr Nigel Carter said that this research does support earlier theories but added further studies are needed.

He also emphasised the need for pregnant women to take special care of their teeth by having a good oral health routine and by visiting the dentist regularly.

Annette Briley, consultant midwife, also highlighted that British women get free dental care while pregnant and for a year after birth.

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