A new study shows that the risk of preterm birth before 37 weeks will increase in women with periodontal disease – gum infection disease.The study was conducted by the University Hospital Hradec Králové (Czech Republic) and Dr. Vladimíra Radochová, a dentist who works as the team leader, with the participation of mothers who have just given birth. As a result, 45% of people with premature amniotomy have gum disease such as infection, swelling, and gum pain. Only 29% of women giving birth to full-term babies show signs of periodontal disease.
Bacteria in dental plaque are thought to follow the blood moving to the placenta and causing inflammation in the placenta. Since then, the amniotic sac around the fetus is badly affected, breaking too early and leaving the preterm delivery among pregnant women.
|Studies show that gum diseases can lead pregnant women to Premature Rupture of Membranes|
About 10% of pregnancies worldwide result in premature babies, said the authors in the Clinical Periodontology journal. In the UK, about 7% equaling 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year. Preterm birth is defined as when the baby is born before 37 weeks.
In the United States, 1 in 10 babies is born earlier than expected, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistic.
Basically, premature birth can occur due to changes in the cervix or premature rupture of the fetal membrane – commonly known as “rupture of membranes”. As for periodontal disease, gingivitis, up to 80% of adults suffer from this disease. Previously, periodontal has also been shown to be associated with premature birth.
However, the results of existing studies are not really convincing according to Dr. Radochová and colleagues.
To better understand this relationship, the researchers analyzed data on 78 women with early rupture of membranes at week of pregnancy 24 to 36 and hospitalized at Hradec Králové. They then continued to compare these women with 77 mothers who had never had any pregnancy complications and received postnatal care at the hospital outpatient clinic.
All participants in the study were screened during their stay in the hospital. The results showed that those who had premature rupture had the teeth with higher plaque and gum disease.The loss of adhesion (unit of measurement of reduction of support around the teeth) was also higher in premature women with an average index of 2.3mm compared with 1.8mm in women with no complications. The same is the periodontal sac depth – the distance between the gums and the teeth with the corresponding indicators of 2.3mm and 1.8mm.
The result is still true even considering the smoking habit – which is known to be a risk factor for periodontal disease. Both the parameters of adhesion loss and the periodontal sac depth are used by dentists to control the periodontal disease level: The higher the index is, the more severe the damage is.
Dr. Nigel Carter, CEO of Oral Health Organization, believes that the study highlights the importance of dental care in each stage of our lives.
“Dental health can directly affect many parts of our overall health,” he said. “And that includes the opportunity to have a safe delivery. Many women find it more difficult to maintain good oral health during pregnancy. It’s because of hormonal changes during pregnancy which can make the gums become more sensitive, more prone to plaque and more likely to ache and swelling. They may even bleed.”
Dr. Carter advises pregnant women to keep their teeth healthy by brushing their teeth twice a day and using a toothbrush or floss to clean their teeth.
Poor dental health is also linked to heart disease, because prolonged gingivitis can cause bad bacteria to enter the circulation and destroy blood vessels. This is the result of a study published earlier this month, conducted by the Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with the Institute of Public Health in California (USA). The research leader is scientist Katie Boronow.