Pregnancy and Gum Disease

1 decade 11 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, August 07 2007 Aug 7, 2007 Tuesday, August 07, 2007 4:28:54 PM CDT August 07, 2007 in News

It'll be Renee Shutay's second child and she isn't wasting any time getting in to see her dentist to check for signs of periodontal disease. As a health care coordinator, she's seen what gum disease can do.

"There's women who have had severe uh periodontal disease and have had uh early labor but they weren't going to the dentist and were not aware," said Renee Shutay, pregant mom.

That link is becoming stronger and stronger.

Experts like Dr. Kenneth Bueltmann believe there is a link between periodontal disease and premature births.

And studies done just this year confirm that un-treated periodontal disease can result in a significant risk of pre-term delivery.

"The larger studies are showing their risk is in order of five to seven times uh that of a of a healthy individual," said Periodontist Kenneth Bueltmann.-The link to pre-mature births is still something of a mystery.

But Renee's dentist blames a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin that's in oral bacteria.

"Prostaglandin um can induce labor so it's it's it controls muscle um relaxation and contraction," said Dentist Lauri Schumacher.

A non-surgical dental procedure like scaling and root planning can get rid of harmful bacteria and won't harm the baby.

And to avoid periodontal disease, experts say brush twice a day, floss regularly and see your dentist at least twice a year.

For Renee, the news is good; she doesn't have gum disease, and she wants to keep it that way.

"I think I was a little more diligent when I became pregnant knowing what I know about periodontal disease," said Shutay.

EXPENSIVE VACCINATIONS: Thousands of children do not have health insurance that covers vaccinations. According to a new study in the journal of the American Medical Association, newer, more expensive vaccines are not always covered.

Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care found thousands of under-insured kids are not covered for immunizations, and they're not getting some of the newer, more expensive vaccines, because of holes in government safety nets.

GREEN TEA BENEFITS: Researchers are studying green tea as a possible treatment for inflammatory skin diseases, such as psoriasis and even dandruff.

Those conditions are often characterized by over-production of skin cells.

A new study from the medical college of georgia found green tea slowed the growth of skin cells in affected mice.

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