Treating periodontal disease during pregnancy
Report by Dr Yiorgos Bobetsis and Prof Phoebus Madianos
Randomised controlled trials have sought to evaluate whether periodontal therapy during pregnancy can affect adverse pregnancy outcomes. This research shows that non-surgical periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing) during the second trimester is safe – but it does not reduce the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and low birthweight.
Nonetheless, periodontal treatment may reduce rates of these outcomes in women who are either at high risk of pregnancy complications or who have a better response to periodontal treatment. No substantial evidence exists on the benefit or harm of using systemic antibiotics in addition to non-surgical periodontal therapy.
While non-surgical periodontal therapy does improve the periodontal status of most pregnant women with periodontal disease, it falls short of eliminating gingival inflammation. The main role of periodontal treatment during pregnancy is to improve the periodontal and overall health of the pregnant woman. In terms of affecting adverse pregnancy outcomes, it may be more effective to provide periodontal intervention before conception