Women's oral health during pregnancy
Report by Prof Mariano Sanz and Dr Elena Figuero
The main physiological and hormonal changes in a woman’s life take place during pregnancy – and the mouth is one of the main areas involved in these changes.
The periodontium of pregnant women can be affected by pregnancy gingivitis, granuloma gravidarium (pregnancy tumour), and periodontitis. Although gingival inflammation tends to increase during pregnancy – even when proper oral-hygiene to remove plaque is performed – pregnancy gingivitis does not usually imply irreversible damage to the periodontium.
In post-partum, even women with periodontitis who receive no periodontal treatment during their pregnancy show an improvement in all clinical periodontal parameters. In cases of granuloma gravidarium, lesions that do not cause significant functional or aesthetic problems should not be removed during pregnancy, because they may recur and they may resolve spontaneously after delivery. No specific type of periodontitis is related to pregnancy, but periodontitis is a potential risk factor both for adverse pregnancy outcomes and for gestational diabetes mellitus.