Does tooth decay cause miscarriage?
Studies have shown that women who have tooth problems (periodontal disease) are more likely to give birth prematurely, have babies with a low birth weight, and possibly even more likely to miscarry.
But does that mean that tooth problems cause pregnancy complications? It’s possible. Tooth decay bacteria could plausibly secrete some kind of yet undiscovered substance that triggers preterm labour. But there are other equally plausible reasons why there might be a link. For example, smoking increases the risk of both tooth decay and premature birth, as does having diabetes. Women with tooth decay might lack adequate dental coverage, which could mean they have inadequate health care coverage, and thus that they do not get care that might otherwise prevent premature birth.
With these alternate explanations, tooth decay could simply mean a woman has increased risk for premature birth and not that her tooth decay was what caused her baby’s premature birth. Thus, tooth decay would be a risk factor for premature birth but not necessarily a cause of premature birth.