New study confirms link between maternal gum disease and pregnancy complications

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A new study has confirmed the link between oral health conditions and complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

The study, which was conducted by a team at Case Western University, concluded that harmful bacteria can travel from the mother’s mouth into the bloodstream of the foetus. The study found that these bacteria can contribute to premature birth, complications during pregnancy and even stillbirth.

Pregnant women are more susceptible to oral health conditions because of the hormonal changes taking place in the body; gum disease is particularly common amongst pregnant women. Harmful bacteria in the mouth can cause the gums to become inflamed and sore; however, as studies indicate, this can also lead to more serious complications and can affect the health of the unborn baby.

Dentists have pleaded with pregnant women to take care of their teeth and gums for many years, but new research has made this advice even more important and dental experts and midwives are encouraging expectant mothers to take advantage of the free dental care on offer through the NHS. Currently, pregnant women are entitled to free dental care; this is also available for the first year after the baby is born. It is important for pregnant women to visit the dentist on a regular basis to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy.

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