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Periodontal inflammation may play a role in the development of preeclampsia, the potentially deadly condition that affects approximately 5 percent of pregnancies in the United States, according to a recent study in The Journal of Periodontology. It may be implicated in other pregnancy complications as well.
Most periodontal diseases are chronic inflammatory conditions caused by the body's response to bacterial gum infections that can destroy the gum tissue and supporting bone that hold teeth in the mouth. The main cause of this disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth.
Dr. Vincent J. Iacono, DMD, who is president of the American Academy of Periodontology, notes that for prevention women should floss daily to break up the bacterial colonies between the teeth. Proper daily brushing will help prevent plaque buildup, and professional cleanings at least twice a year can remove calculus from places the toothbrush and floss may have missed. "A periodontal evaluation by your dentist or periodontist is the best way to know if you have any periodontal disease," he adds.