Periodontal treatment during pregnancy for women who are suffering from periodontitis will be beneficial to patients and possibly also to their future children.
This is the message from a study, commissioned for the EFP/Oral-B Oral Health and Pregnancy project, which examined randomised controlled trials that have sought to evaluate whether periodontal therapy during pregnancy can affect adverse pregnancy outcomes.
The study, The importance of Periodontal Disease Treatment during Pregnancy, shows that although non-surgical periodontal therapy (scaling and root planing) during the second trimester is safe, it does not reduce the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth and low birthweight.
However, periodontal treatment may reduce rates of these outcomes in certain cases – for example, in women who are at high risk of pregnancy complications or who have a better response to periodontal treatment.
Although non-surgical periodontal therapy does improve the periodontal status of most pregnant women with periodontal disease, it nonetheless falls short of eliminating gingival inflammation.
In conclusion, say report authors Dr Yiorgos Bobetsis and Prof Phoebus Madianos of the School of Dentistry at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), the main role of periodontal treatment during pregnancy is to improve the periodontal and overall health of the pregnant woman.
“All women should receive, at the start of pregnancy, a thorough evaluation of their dental and periodontal status,” said Prof Madianos. “When gingivitis or periodontitis are diagnosed, periodontal treatment should be provided. Periodontal therapy will improve the periodontal condition and therefore the overall health of pregnant women.”
He added that, in terms of affecting adverse pregnancy outcomes, it may be more effective to provide women with periodontal treatment before they conceive.