Doctors from Yale & Case Western Reserve released a study that discovered new bacteria that may be responsible for most premature labor. The Discovery Channel report says that this previously undiscovered bacteria usually found in the mouth may be responsible for up to 80 percent of early pre-term labors. Most importantly, the research indicates that preterm births can be prevented by improved oral hygiene and by the use of targeted antibiotics.
We’ve known for several years now that pregnant women with gum disease problems were at a very high risk for premature labor. Obstetricians and insurance companies have been encouraging expectant mothers to see their dentist at least by their second trimester to have their teeth cleaned and treat any problems with swollen gums.
There is also interesting news to share with new parents. We’ve all seen studies that show how breast feeding helps infants be more healthy. Regarding dental decay on teeth of a newborn, research shows that breast feeding not only does not cause cavities, but it actually deposits calcium and other useful nutrients onto the enamel. It has helps prevent decay!
In our community, we still see too many children that have very high decay rates. We learned about seven to eight years ago that if either parent has a high decay rate when their child’s first teeth erupt, their child will have a much greater chance of always having decay problems. All of us understand that parents are going to be in close contact with their baby – including kisses and hugs. The close contact causes the bacteria in a parent’s mouth to get spread to their child. So if the parent has bacteria that have caused lots of cavities, that bacteria gets spread to the child. This information shows how important it is for parents to see their dentist – for their child’s sake.
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Dr. Moorhead and his team write about dental news, and answer patient questions.