For example, pregnant women with untreated dental disease are more likely to give birth to pre-term or low birthweight babies. Studies funded by the National Institutes of Health estimate as much as 18 percent of the 250,000 premature babies born weighing less than 5.5 pounds in the United States each year is due to periodontal infection. Pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby who is born too early and too small. Bacteria release toxins into a woman’s bloodstream that interfere with fetal development and stimulate the production of a chemical that induces labor. The lifetime medical costs for one premature baby are conservatively estimated at $500,000.
Reinstating the Medicaid adult dental benefit can help prevent pre-term births and low birthweight— it is the fiscally and morally responsible choice. Please take action TODAY to appeal for reinstatement of the Medicaid adult benefit in Michigan – click here to contact your state Senator and Representative.