A recent systematic review of all available information on the possible affects of active gum disease in pregnant mothers has come up with some interesting findings.
Five studies conducted over the past 40 years that have looked at the possible link between active gum disease and either preterm birth (PTB) or preterm low birthweight (PLBW) all showed an increased risk. The increased risk was seen to be between four and five fold for pregnant mums with active gum disease to get either of the above complications. It should be noted however that the quality of these studies were classed a poor to fair, meaning that they only looked at a small number of cases or did not report all of their findings properly.
Even allowing for this, it seems clear that we should do our best to ensure that pregnant mums are doing everything they can to look after the health of their gums and that any active gum disease is corrected as soon as possible.
Both PTB and PLBW are also linked with smoking, nutritional status, diabetes and stress to name just a few so this dental advice should be taken against a background of the overall health of the mother and should not be seen as the only cause of this distressing problem.