It’s possible that if you have periodontal disease and are pregnant, you may be at risk for having a premature, low birthweight baby. For a long time we’ve known that many risk factors contribute to mothers having babies that are born prematurely at a low birthweight – smoking, alcohol use, drug use and infections.
Now evidence is mounting that suggests a new risk factor- periodontal disease. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.
More research is needed to confirm how periodontal disease may effect pregnancy outcomes. What we do know is that periodontal disease is an infection and all infections are cause for concern among pregnant women because they pose a risk to the health of the baby.
If you are planning to become pregnant or are at risk for periodontal disease, be sure to include a periodontal evaluation with a periodontist as part of your prenatal care because healthy gums may lead to a healthier body and healthy baby.
To read more on this topic, visit the American Academy of Periodontology’s website.