Sugar-Free Gum Reduces Premature Pregnancy

Did you know that 2 studies were recently conducted over the course of a decade because of the connection between preterm births and poor oral hygiene?

These 2 studies of over 10,000 women showed that chewing sugar-free gum reduces preterm births due to a chemical it contains called xylitol that boosts oral health.

Study #1 findings
Of the 4,349 pregnancies among the women who chewed xylitol gum only 12.6 percent of them were born preterm.  This figure was 24% less compared to the group that didn’t chew the gum of which 16.5% of the 5,321 pregnancies were both before 37 weeks.
The women who chewed this gum also experienced an improvement in their oral health.  Approximately, 4000 women that chewed the gum had both an initial dental exam before and after the experiment, and those women had improved gum health.  This was very important for reducing gum disease which is when the tissue surrounding your teeth becomes swollen and inflamed.

According to Kim Boggess, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine who wasn’t involved in the study thought that the findings were encouraging.

Follow-up study #2 findings
In the second study, 10,000 women were split up across 8 health centers before becoming pregnant or who recently became pregnant.  All of the women received the same information about preventing preterm births and how they can improve their oral health but only 50% of the women received the gum.  This group once again noticed a significant decrease in preterm births showing the connection between your oral health and your baby’s overall health.
In this region of Lilongwe, the average preterm birth rate was 19.3% which is among the global leaders.  Poor oral in this region was over 70% with over 2/3 of pregnant women having cavities and gum disease.  Babies born prematurely will have complications that can impair their lungs, brain development and have long-term health risks for your baby if they are able to survive their first year of pregnancy.

Why does sugar-free gum help my baby?

When pregnant mothers get gum disease the bacteria and inflammation from your soft tissues enter your bloodstream reaching your organs and placenta.  Xylitol gum can lead to fewer cavities and inflammation at the microbial level.  The lead of the study has also examined the kid’s neurological development of non-pre-term babies V.S. preterm babies and has concluded that sugar-free gum is a cost-effective invaluable intervention for pregnant mothers.
Our dental clinic in London Ontario can help access your oral health and provide other recommendations for pregnant mothers before and during their pregnancy to reduce the chances of preterm births.  But sugar-free gum is a great option for everyone to have better oral health and reduce your risk of cavities, bad breath, gum disease, and oral cancer.

What are the best practices during pregnancy

Since some women get swollen, sore, and bleeding gums during pregnancy it is very important to know how to take care of them.  The best plan of attack during pregnancy is to be extra diligent in your oral hygiene routine.

  • Ask your dentist about different procedures they may advise you to wait until after your pregnancy to have done i.e. certain x-rays
  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss between each tooth daily
  • Schedule a check-up in your first trimester to have your oral health checked and teeth cleaned
  • Rinse your mouth with water or fluoride mouthwash after every time you vomit to reduce the impact of the acid, then brush 30 minutes later
  • Cut down on sugar and focus on finding comfort foods that are accessible and healthy for your baby and teeth
  • If you’re planning on getting pregnant in the future it may be best to get a dental check-up ahead of time to see if there is anything that needs to get done especially since they can worsen significantly in 9 months
  • Strengthen your gums and teeth by straightening your teeth if they’re crooked with Invisalign in London Ontario, or improving your digestive health and enamel strength with Teeth Whitening in London Ontario