ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
CANCER
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
FITNESS
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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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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