Should pregnant women visit the dentist?.. Answers by Dalvir Pannu DDS

Dalvir Pannu- Yes! Research suggests that a simple dental treatment may reduce a woman’s risk of giving birth prematurely.

According to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology it was found that treating severe gum disease with scaling and root care cut premature births by 84%.
Tens of thousands of babies are born prematurely, before 37 weeks gestation, in the United States each year. Premature birth increases the risk of conditions such as cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, lung and gastrointestinal problems, and even death.

It has already been established that severe gum infections cause an increase in the production of prostaglandin and tumour necrosis factor, chemicals which induce labor, to be produced.

In light of these findings, it is recommended that all women who are thinking of becoming pregnant or who are pregnant receive a full periodontal exam and diagnosis.

Those women who are already pregnant when periodontal disease is detected are ideally treated with scaling and root planing in the second trimester.

Regular dental visits are a cost effective way to prevent many future health complications and when addressing women who are considering childbirth or are pregnant, it is highly recommended for the health and well being of both mother and child.

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