Healthy Pregnancy?

Dentist Holds a Simple Key According to the Wall Street Journal

Poor oral hygiene has been linked to a host of medical problems, including heart disease, diabetes and premature delivery. To combat these medical problems, some health plans are covering more dental treatments and preventive services, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

The incidence of major health problems can be reduced by additional tooth cleanings, gum treatments, and prescription mouth washes, all relatively economical preventive measures when compared to treating heart disease, diabetes, or premature delivery. A number of studies in the scientific literature have shown that patients with regular tooth cleanings avoid major medical problems more often than patients who do not go to the dentist regularly.

One insurance company, according to the September 19th 2006, Wall Street Journal, now targets pregnant women, offering them additional deep cleanings known as scaling and root planing. The reason is that several studies have proven a link between periodontal disease and premature delivery. For pregnant women who do not need scaling and root planing, an additional regular cleaning (over the usual two a year) is covered. These women would receive a cleaning every four months, for example, rather than every six months. Patients with diabetes and heart disease are also offered the same benefit.