ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
CAREGIVING
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
DIET, NUTRITION
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
The Food Irradiation Story
B Vitamins Might Lower Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
Gene Explains How High-Fructose Diets Lead to Insulin Resistance
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Any Old Cane Won't Do
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
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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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