Colgate Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center

Innovative toothpastes to clean and brighten every type of smile.

Toothpastes

A toothbrush for every type of smile, designed with comfort and results in mind.

Toothbrushes

Colgate kids' products make brushing fun and encourage routine use.

Kids' Products

Oral care products available exclusively through dental professionals.

Products From the Dentist

Professional grade oral care, available without a prescription.

Other Oral Care

Every smile is unique and requires a different type of care. Colgate has a solution for every smile.

Search by Benefit
Font size

More evidence shows poor oral health increases preterm birth risk

A new study finds that a pregnant woman is at risk for delivering a preterm, low birth weight baby if the woman's mouth has high levels of the bacteria that causes cavities.

The study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, is more evidence that a pregnant woman's own oral health is important to the overall health of her newborn.

The research team from New York University studied 297 women for the amount of Actinomyces naeslundii genospecies 2, an oral bacterium associated with dental caries, in their mouths.

The researchers found that a tenfold increase in bacterial levels was associated with a 60-gram decrease in birth weight, plus a nearly 0.17 week (1.19 days) decrease in length of pregnancy.

The researchers believe the oral bacteria can travel to the woman's uterus. Once there, the bacteria can cause the woman's body to produce "proinflammatory mediators" as a response to those bacteria.

Unfortunately, proinflammatory mediator molecules also can lead to uterine contractions and cervical dilation. Cervical dilation, in turn, allows more bacteria to enter, and eventually this can cause the uterine membranes to rupture.

The result is preterm birth.

So if you're pregnant, or just thinking about having a baby, take good care of your oral health, and visit the dentist for a checkup.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

03/28/2005

ColgatePalmolive.com  |  Colgate.com  |  Legal/Privacy  |  Colgate.com Site Map  |  Contact Us
© Colgate-Palmolive Company. All rights reserved.
You are viewing the United States site.