Researchers presented a study at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine yearly meet-up, The Pregnancy Meeting, regarding the possible benefits of using alcohol-free mouthwash to reduce preterm labor. The mouthwash used in the study included the ingredient cetylpyridinium chloride, also referred to as CPC.

The mouthwash may not directly affect preterm labor, but the reduction in diseases of the gums and teeth as a result of using alcohol-free mouthwash may have an effect on pregnancy outcome. Proctor and Gamble funded the study in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The study included 204 women broken into various groups based on prior preterm birth, smoking habits and alcohol consumption. Of the participating women, 155 received no dental treatment and 49 received treatment. All women refused outside dental treatment before the study was started. Dental exams were given to the women early in pregnancy and again right before birth. None of the women suffered from infections linked to pregnancy. The previous outcome of pregnancy was preterm delivery before the 35th week of gestation for all women included in the control groups and study groups. All women in the study were previously diagnosed with periodontal disease.

Women who used alcohol-free mouth wash containing CPC were less likely to give birth prematurely. All women in the treated group were older than the control group. On average, women treated with alcohol-free mouthwash gave birth to infants with older gestational ages and high birth weights than the control group that did not receive treatment.

Source: Vicki Bendure. Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. 14 February, 2011.