Narrative review: Biological mechanisms between periodontal diseases and pregnancy
Report by Dr Mervi Gürsoy and Prof Filippo Graziani
Chronic periodontitis has been acknowledged as a potential risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes. Biological mechanisms involving periodontal inflammation have been suggested as playing an important role in these pregnancy complications. Clinical studies suggest that bacteria from the oral cavity colonise the foetus and the placenta, with blood as the most likely vehicle of transmission.
While specific micro-organisms associated with periodontitis – such as P. gingivalis, T. denticola, T. forsythia, and F. nucleatum – have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, little is known about the exact role they might play.
It is also not yet understood why some women with periodontal inflammation develop adverse pregnancy outcomes and others do not. Further studies are needed in order to understand the complex biological processes that are involved.