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Pregnant women 'should monitor dental health'
Updated: 12/8/2008 8:00:26 PM

Pregnant women People may develop gum disease at any point in life, but pregnant women may be particularly prone to swollen and inflamed gums.

This is because blood vessels expand within the body during pregnancy, the New York Daily News reports.

Statistics from the American Academy of Periodontology reveal that around half of expectant mothers suffer from what is known as pregnancy gingivitis, which is caused by a surge in hormone levels.

In addition to being a painful dental health condition, gum disease may result in mothers giving birth to a low birth-weight or pre-term baby, studies have shown.

With these facts in mind, Dr Jennifer Holtzman of the University of Southern California told the news provider that dental care is vital for pregnant women who want to protect the health of their babies.

"The best way to prevent and control gum disease is to make sure you clean the plaque off your teeth," she said.

In addition to dental hygiene, women who are expecting a child should make sure they visit their dentist for a full dental checkup, according to the American Dental Association.

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