Effects on New Born Babies And More

DIABETES :

People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because diabetics are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered the sixth complication of diabetes.

Those people who don't have their diabetes under control are especially at risk. A study in the November 1999 issue of the Journal of Periodontology found that poorly controlled type 2 diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease than well-controlled diabetics are.

Research has emerged that suggests that the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes goes both ways - periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.

Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications. Thus, diabetics who have periodontal disease should be treated to eliminate the periodontal infection.

This recommendation is supported by a study reported in the Journal of Periodontology in 1997 involving 113 Pima Indians with both diabetes and periodontal disease. The study found that when their periodontal infections were treated, the management of their diabetes markedly improved.

PREGNANCIES :

For a long time we've known that risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use, and drug use contribute to mothers having babies that are born prematurely at a low birth weight.

Now evidence is mounting that suggests a new risk factor – oral infections. For example pregnant women who have periodontal disease ( a gum and bone infection ) may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. Recent studies also show that pregnant women with periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from pre-eclampsia ( hypertension and high protein levels in urine ).

More research is needed to confirm how periodontal disease may affect pregnancy outcomes. It appears that periodontal disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor. Furthermore, data suggests that women whose periodontal condition worsens during pregnancy have an even higher risk of having a premature baby.

All infections are cause for concern among pregnant women because they pose a risk to the health of the baby. Dr. Imbeau recommends that women considering pregnancy have a dental evaluation.

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