Expectant mothers with severe gum disease have a seven times greater risk of delivering PTLBWB babies. This is true for women under the age of 17 and over the age of 34. Currently, 12% of US pregnancies are complicated by preterm birth, meaning less than 37 weeks' gestation. Low birth weight is categorized by less than 5 lbs. and 8 oz. and small gestational age refers to a baby in less than the 10% percentile. In addition, other complications such as miscarriage and preclampsia may be related to periodontal disease. While there are significant risks to the mother, preterm low birth weight babies risk neurodevelopmental problems, respiratory and behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and cardiovascular and metabolic problems. All studies suggest periodontal treatment is safe for expectant mothers.
Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309