This pilot study looked at hundreds of pregnant women who had previously given birth to premature babies, and who were at high risk of doing so again. All of the women in the study had gum disease. Those whose gum disease was treated with scaling and root planing had an 84 percent reduction in premature births. There was no added benefit to antibiotic treatment for the gum disease, in fact those women who got the antibiotic did not do as well as those who had scaling and root planing alone.
While a larger study needs to be done to confirm these results on gum health, the study suggests that it would be wise for women who are pregnant or who are considering becoming pregnant to have their gums examined. The authors recommend that gum disease be treated either before pregnancy or during the second trimester to help give the best start to the new baby.
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