ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
EYE CARE, VISION
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
FITNESS
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Week of Historic Senate Hearings on Integrative Medicine May Open New Doors
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
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Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Treating gum disease doesn't decrease a woman's risk of preterm birth, according to a U.S. study that challenges previous research suggesting a link.

As a result of those earlier findings, insurers and health-care providers started to recommend that pregnant women undergo dental "deep cleaning" (scaling and root planing) to reduce the risk of preterm delivery.

This new study, overseen by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, included 1,800 pregnant women with periodontal (gum) disease. The women were randomly assigned to two groups: One received periodontal treatment before 23 weeks gestation, while the other group did not receive treatment.

Overall, the two groups showed no significant differences in obstetric or neonatal outcomes. The findings were presented Thursday at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine annual meeting, in San Diego.

"The biggest implication of this study is that this level of standard periodontal care will not affect the birth outcome," Dr. Amy Murtha, director of obstetrics research at Duke University Medical Center, said in an university news release. Duke was one of the medical schools participating in the study.

"That's not to say pregnant women should not get dental exams and treatment as needed; they should. Our study emphasizes that treating periodontal disease during pregnancy is safe, but that standard periodontal care is not enough," to reduce the risk of preterm birth, said Murtha, who presented the findings at the meeting.

More research is needed to better understand the relationship between gum disease and preterm birth.

"Periodontal disease and poor pregnancy outcomes travel together, but we don't know why," Murtha said. She suggested that preterm birth and gum disease may share a common underlying trait, such as an exaggerated inflammatory response.

It's also unclear why pregnancy appears to be associated with the onset and progression (worsening) of gum disease. Progression of periodontal disease occurs in about 25 percent of pregnancies.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more about preterm labor and birth.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, news release, Jan. 29, 2009

Last Updated: Jan. 29, 2009

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