There's further evidence this week that our oral health can affect our entire body - and also, it seems, that of the unborn child.
Babies in the womb can be infected by the mother's poor oral health, as the bacteria can pass through the blood stream and amniotic fluid, a new study has discovered.
The state of the mother's teeth and gums can increase the risk of a premature delivery, low birth weight, premature contractions and infections in the unborn child.
In a study conducted at the Queen Mary University of London, researchers discovered that 46 of the 57 samples of amniotic fluid they analysed contained bacteria, including two species that came from the mouth.
(Source: Proceedings of the Society for General Microbiology, March 31, 2009).