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Periodontitis & Pregnancy

Periodontal disease starts when certain bacterial species overpopulate the gum tissue around your teeth. The first signs are typically bleeding gums or red/swollen gums. If you are pregnant, it is important to have your mouth evaluated by a dentist to ensure it is healthy and not elaborated by periodontal disease.


In recent years, periodontal disease has been associated with a number of systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory diseases and adverse pregnancy outcomes including Preterm Low Birth Weight (PLBW) and Pre-Eclampsia.

I would like to especially highlight Pre-term Low Birth Weight, which is defined as a birthweight less than 2500g(5.5 lbs). Pre-term is defined as birth before 37 weeks of gestation. It is considered a significant cause of infant morbidity and mortality

The following are considered risk factors to pregnant women for the development of Pre-term Birth Weight:

Use of illicit drugs,

Abuse of alcohol,


low maternal body mass index

Women that do not receive prenatal care

high physical and psychological stress

poor maternal nutrition

Work Conditions that include manual work.

Short cervical length and elevated levels of fetal fibronectin, alpha-fetoprotein, alkaline phosphatase and G-CSF..

intrauterine infection.

Periodontal Disease or Periodontal Infections

Research shows that scaling and root planing can lower the risk of preterm births in mothers who are infected by periodontitis. Pregnancy without periodontal treatment was associated with significant increases in probing depths, plaque scores, GCF IL-1β, and GCF IL-6

Various studies have shown that pregnant mothers with periodontitis are at increased risk of giving birth to preterm low birth infants and may benefit from periodontal intervention.

Evidence has shown that non surgical scaling and root planning can reduce the risk of preterm births in mothers who are elaborated by periodontitis.

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