In the April 1997 issue, RDH published an article by Dr. Perry Ratcliff and Trisha O?Hehir titled, OA risk to expectant mothers: Management of gingival inflammation in pregnant women appears to be an important therapy in preventing incidence of premature, low birth-weight babies.O The article was based on research published in the Journal of Periodontology.
Optiva Corp. has initiated a campaign called Mothers-To-Be. The manufacturer of Sonicare toothbrushes is donating 1,000 of its sonic toothbrushes to women in the first or second trimester of their pregnancies. These patients must exhibit evidence of gum disease and cannot afford to purchase the toothbrush.
Optiva encourages hygienists to nominate patients by calling (800) 676-7664 before Aug. 31.
OAlthough not directly studied, estimates indicate that, with proper periodontal care and treatment of pregnant women, premature births could be reduced by as many as 45,500 a year,O said Dr. Steven Offenbacher, a lead investigator with the University of North Carolina. OResearch has shown that pregnant women are more susceptible to gum disease ? in fact, bleeding gums are said to be one of the first signs that a woman is pregnant.O