How Gum Disease May Cause Premature Births
The Signs of Gum Disease
The Cause of Gum Disease
The Treatment of Gum Disease
The Periodontists
Gum Recession
Dental Implants
Gummy Smiles
Gum Disease and
Heart Disease
Gum Disease and
Premature Births
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Transmissability of
Gum Disease
Bad Breath and Gum Disease
Gum Disease and Smoking

The PerioBIRTH Project

"Keeping Healthy Smiles for Healthy Families"

Welcome to, the website devoted towards improving the oral health of expectant mothers and reducing the potential for premature births in newborn babies. This website is designed to help you understand that, unfortunately, the presence of gum disease (called periodontitis) can have a very negative impact on a birth experience for the child, the mother and ultimately, the complete family. This website is not designed to give the impression that gum disease is the only factor which may affect the normal term of pregnancy, increase the chance to have a low birth weight baby or to increase the chance of disabilities which are frequently associated with premature births.

However, as we consider the impact of gum disease on the duration of the pregnancy,, with its participating gum disease specialists (called periodontists) is designed to help expectant families to better understand how a visit to the gum disease specialist may be a life-saving experience, or at least help reduce the potential that a families' happiness over a newborn could be damaged.

The Problem
Pre-term infants who are born with low birth weights are still a major health and family problem in modern countries. Even though there has been a decrease in infant deaths over the last half-century in the United States, premature births with low birth weights represents a significant cause of infant deaths and other problems which can relate to long-term disabilities. In the United States, it is estimated that 1 in 10 births result in an infant which has a premature low birth weight.

When you evaluate the number of infants who die and did not have any problems that were due to problems with their anatomy or genetic problems, it is estimated that more than 60% of these deaths are related to pre-term low birth weights. It is felt by some experts that most of the long-term disabilities in children have been associated with low birth weight babies.

Gum Disease (Periodontitis): Is it a problem in increasing the number of pre-term low birth weights?
Studies were done which researched the role that gum disease may have in influencing premature births and low birth weights. In these studies, other known risk factors for premature births and low birth weights were taken into consideration. These risk factors include, but are not limited to the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, level of prenatal care, number of previous births, nutrition, presence of vaginal or urinary infections and other factors. The results of one study have allowed for the conclusion that periodontal disease in pregnant women may be an important risk factor for low birth weight. The study even went so far as to say that 18.2% of all cases of premature low birth weight may be associated with gum disease.

The impact of premature births on low birth weights and this association with infant deaths or long-term disabilities is clearly understood and has a factual basis. With low birth weights in premature babies still a problem even in advanced, industrialized countries, this birth problem has a significant and devastating impact on the happiness of children and their families. Even when you consider other known risk factors for premature births and low birth weights, there clearly appears to be an association between gum disease (periodontitis) and premature births with low birth weights.

The Solution
The solution to the problem of gum disease and its impact on premature births and pre-term low birth weights center around the ability of the expectant mother to have her gum health thoroughly evaluated and, if necessary, treated. Gum disease is a "sneaky" disease. You can have gum disease when you are not readily aware of the problem. This is why it is important to have a comprehensive gum disease examination. If treatment is necessary, it is best to deal with the problem as soon as possible.

To whom should I go in order to have my gums examined?
A general dentist or periodontist are the dentists that you would consider for a gum disease evaluation. However, since some of the different types of gum disease problems may involve some genetic considerations, you may want to talk to a periodontist about a Gum Disease Aggressiveness Screening. This will take into consideration the various risk factors that you can control, as well as understanding those risk factors that are out of your control.

Unless your general dentist has specific training in understanding the new gum disease-premature birth information, you may be better served if you discuss your gum disease concerns with one of the periodontists.

This website will address:
A. How Gum Disease May Cause Premature Births
B. The Signs of Gum Disease
C. The Cause of Gum Disease
D. The Treatment of Gum Disease
E. The Periodontists

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