A new study conducted by the research team from Procter and Gamble may have established a connection between pregnant mothers using mouthwash for oral health and the premature or on-time birth of their children. According to Reuters, mouthwashing mothers may be less likely to give birth prematurely.
During the research process, 71 pregnant women who had gum disease were asked to rinse twice a day for 30 seconds with an alcohol-free mouthwash. The staff conducting the study compared their incidences of premature birth to those in a group of 155 pregnant women with the same disease who used water to rinse.
In the group of those using mouthwash, four out of the 71 delivered prematurely. The number was quite small by comparison to the mothers who rinsed with water, as 34 out of 155 of those women delivered their babies before 35 weeks of pregnancy.
Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, the study's lead author, explained that the findings were not definitive, and would have no bearing on mothers without gum disease. "Obviously, if you don't have periodontal disease this is not going to help," she said, according to the news source.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that periodontal disease is becoming less common in U.S. adults. Some 8.5 percent of adults aged 20 to 64 have gum disease in some form, with the condition being moderate or severe in about 5 percent of adults in the age group.
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