Penn Research Establishes Link Between Periodontal Disease in Pregnant Women and Premature Birth

Marjorie Jeffcoat, a professor of periodontics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, has published research showing that the use of mouthwash by pregnant women with periodontal disease can reduce their risk of premature births over pregnant women with periodontal disease who do not use mouthwash.

Periodontal disease in an inflammation of gum tissues due to bacterial infection. While typically the disease only damages gums and the underlying bone structure, the chronic infection can impact other parts of the body, including adding to the risk of preterm birth.

In her study Dr. Jeffcoat, and her associate Dr. Samuel Parry of the Penn School of Medicine, instructed one group of women to rinse twice a day for 30 seconds. The control group did not use mouthwash. The women who used mouthwash were more than half as likely as the control group to deliver their babies prematurely.

The research was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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