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Chewing sugar-free gum lowers the chance of premature birth.

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Peeyush Ghalot
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According to a new study, chewing gum can help reduce premature birth and low birth weight newborns. Preterm birth was reduced by nearly a quarter, and the number of babies weighing 5.5 pounds or less was decreased by 31%, thanks to a simple intervention in expectant mothers. Poor dental health has been related to an increased risk of premature birth for decades. In women who deliver preterm, the bug Fusobacterium nucleatum, present in the mouth, has been found in the amniotic fluid and placenta, the sac surrounding the embryo. In Malawi, 10,000 pregnant women were given oral health advice, with half of them being offered xylitol chewing gum and told to chew it for at least 10 minutes once a day. Many chewing gums, such as Wrigley's Extra, use xylitol as a sugar alternative. Pre-natal intervention with xylitol chewing gum before 20 weeks of pregnancy reduced preterm births, particularly late preterm births between 34 and 37 weeks.

(Image Courtesy: - Health Digest)

Approximately 16.5 percent of women gave birth prematurely; however, this was reduced to 12.6% in women who chewed gum daily. Similarly, although 12.9% of mothers had babies with low birth weight, 8.9% of chewing gum users had babies with low birth weight. Researchers have previously investigated various methods for improving dental health during pregnancy, including doing a "deep-tooth cleaning," which entails removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and below the gum line. The study was presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting and published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

(Image Courtesy: - Telegraph)

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