The benefits of good oral hygiene begin well before birth. Not only is it safe for expectant mothers to have their teeth cleaned, it's desirable and may protect the baby from harm. There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that periodontal (gum) disease in an expectant mother may result in the premature birth of her baby.
We've known for many years that inflammation anywhere in the body, including the gums, results in increased levels of certain hormones and inflammatory molecules in the bloodstream. Several studies suggest that these hormones and inflammatory molecules trigger contractions in the uterine wall, leading to premature birth. Premature birth, particularly at a low birth weight, presents a number of other problems for mother and child.