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Gum Disease May Be Tied to Small Babies

Nation IN BRIEF : ILLINOIS

October 09, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Pregnant women with gum disease are much more likely to bear dangerously small babies, researchers say. Significant gum disease is rare in women under 35, said the lead researcher, Steven Offenbacher, a periodontics professor at the University of North Carolina's School of Dentistry. Most of the 124 women in the study were in their early 20s, leading Offenbacher to speculate that those who give birth prematurely may have weak immunity. The study was published by the Chicago-based American Academy of Periodontology.

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