Gingivitis More Common in Pregnant Women
Recent study shows that pregnant women are more likely to suffer from gingivitis.
Pregnancy is likely to heighten the risk of moderate to severe oral health issues according to the new study, which was presented at the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) meeting in Seoul, South Korea.
It is estimated by some sources that fewer than 40% to almost 80% of pregnant women have gingivitis. It was also highlighted that it may be suitable for pregnant women to have more frequent check ups to maintain their oral health. The researchers in the study aimed to look at the effects of gestational age, study site, and demographic factors on first- and second-trimester pregnancy gingivitis. They worked with trained examiners and they identified more than 600 pregnant women (between eight and 24 weeks of gestation) with at least 30 gingivitis-bleeding sites. Also measured was whole-mouth gingivitis, which scored up to 168 sites, using a four-point clinical index, the Loe Silness GI.
The researchers also found that study site and maternal age were important factors in gingival bleeding during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, but that gestational age and ethnicity were not. They also found that younger women, in general, had higher measured gingival inflammation. Study lead, Michael Reddy, dean of the school of dentistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) said: “The gingival inflammation was more significant for young women, whereas most periodontal diseases tend to escalate in severity associated with age, this may represent a lack of exposure to certain microbes in the younger mothers-to-be.”
He also said this study overturned some of the previously well thought of information about gingival inflammation as pregnancy progresses.
“The conventional wisdom indicates that gingival inflammation increases progressively throughout pregnancy and returns to baseline levels postpartum,’ he said. ‘In this study we found that the level of pregnancy gingivitis was the same for women at eight weeks of gestation as it was for 24 weeks with no significant difference in the first or second trimester.”
He also stated that all dentists should be (and probably are) aware of the risks presented to pregnant women.