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Treating gum disease reduces premature births

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Successful gum disease treatment may reduce women’s risk of giving birth prematurely, according to American research.

The study, in BJOG: an International journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, adds weight to previous findings that periodontal disease may increase the chance of women having premature babies. It covered 322 pregnant women with the disease, half of whom received treatment.

Treatment was successful in 49 of the 160 women treated. Of those whose treatment worked, 8 per cent had a preterm baby compared with 52 per cent of the women who were not treated.

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