ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
More Than 60,000 Patients Risked Hepatitis Infections
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Eating Free Range
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Health Gains From Lowered Smoking Rates in Jeopardy
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
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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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