In a new study by the University of North Carolina, researchers have linked gum disease in pregnant women with preeclampsia -- a serious pregnancy complication that leads to high blood pressure, premature delivery, and even death of the mother and/or child.
According to lead investigator, Dr. Michael Ruma, speaking to Reuters Health, "Maternal periodontal (gum) disease clearly contributes to an increased risk of preeclampsia, and our results demonstrate that this risk is further increased in the presence of elevated systemic inflammation."
You can read the study abstract at the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Website (April 2008 issue).
If you're a woman and planning on getting pregnant or have recently become pregnant, I urge you to see your dental professional in order to determine if you have periodontal disease. According to my colleague, Dr. Abboud, a periodontal specialist, over 30% of those with the disease have a severe form of it.
You can also download my e-book, Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex, for more information about how your oral health affects your physical and sexual health.