A Consultant Physician, Dr

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Omu-Aran, Kwara, that such procedure was necessary, especially at the early stage of pregnancy to ensure good health of mother and child.

Onuh, who is attached to Omu-Aran General Hospital, said the clinical check would also help to prevent mother-to-child harmful and complicated issues, including premature labour.

He emphasised the need for pregnant women to avoid some procedures such as “whitening’’ and ensure that they had regular medical check-ups to guard against bacterial infections.

“One possible reason is that oral bacteria harbours prostaglandin, a labour inducing hormone.

“Fluctuating hormone can cause expecting mothers to develop pregnancy gingitivitis (swollen, bleeding gum).

“This, if left untreated, can lead to periodontal diseases, which in turn, can raise the risk for low birth weight and premature delivery.

“If you reduce the bacteria in the mouth, you reduce the low-level infections that could cause preterm labour.

“So, pregnant women are advised to undertake clinical examination and cleaning of their teeth at least once, to have a clean bill of health,” he said.

The medical expert also said that it was necessary for pregnant women to cultivate good eating habit to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

He disagreed with the belief that eating plenty of food would produce healthier and stronger babies.

Onuh said that heavier mothers, especially those who were over-weight when they conceived and gained a more weight during pregnancy were at greater risk for gestational diabetes and hypertension.

According to him, their babies tend to be larger in the process and can cause serious difficulties during delivery.

He advised mothers against over-weight and urged them to do a lot of exercise to keep fit.

“You don’t need to gain a great deal of weight to have a healthier baby.

“A foetus generally requires only an extra 100 calories a day in the first timester and 300 calories in the third timester,” Onuh said.