The importance of oral health in pregnancy

Oral-B collaborates with The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) to launch a European campaign on the importance of oral health in pregnancy in the wake of research which reveals that gingivitis in pregnancy is much more prevalent than previously thought

Announced at the FDI World Dental Federation Congress: Oral-B, part of the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has collaborated with the EFP to promote awareness of a pressing oral care concern, women’s oral health during pregnancy.

The mouth is the gateway to our health, but during pregnancy pregnant women have a higher risk of developing gum disease because of hormonal shifts, which affect baseline physiology and inflammatory reactions in the body.

In fact, pregnant women can be affected by pregnancy gingivitis, granuloma gravidarum (pregnancy tumour), and periodontitis. This is relevant, because some clinical studies have suggested that bacteria from the mouth can colonise the foetus and the placenta, with blood as the most likely vehicle of transmission.

Consequently, maternal periodontitis has been associated with several conditions including pre-eclampsia (defined as high maternal blood pressure and significant proteinuria, or presence of excess proteins in the urine leading to reduced intra-uterine growth), low birth weights in babies and preterm birth.

The importance of oral health in pregnancyOral-hygiene habits during pregnancy have not been extensively studied. And those that have concerningly detail that few pregnant women visit the dentist during pregnancy (27%) with the misguided fear that dental treatment may have a negative impact on pregnancy outcomes (72%).

Now, recent research just revealed at the FDI Congress, conducted and presented by Dr. Robert Gerlach, Research Fellow in Clinical Investigations at P&Ggive further rise for concern for oral health during pregnancy. It shows that gingivitis affects far more pregnant women than previously thought with almost all pregnant women universally being affected by it, and the occurrence and severity of it substantially exceeding US national averages.

This disease level is approximately three times higher in pregnant women compared to the average adult. This latest research provides important insight on the epidemiology of pregnancy gingivitis, indicating almost all pregnant women being affected by it.

Dr. Robert Gerlach, Research Fellow in Clinical Investigations at P&G said “Women likely have their highest levels of gingival inflammation – with nearly one-third of the gingiva bleeding – during pregnancy. However, with the proper education and oral hygiene, pregnancy gingivitis can be effectively managed, leading to improved oral health for expectant mothers.”

Dr. Anja Carina Borer, Professional and Scientific Relations & Scientific Exchange E-IMEA Professional Oral Health at Procter & Gamble says: “The importance of oral health during pregnancy cannot be underestimated. Scientific studies have shown connections between gum disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth, low birth weight, and pre-eclampsia.

We hope that by introducing these guidelines with the EFP, incorporating learnings from previous research we have been involved as well as numerous scientific studies, it will provide a key step change to support oral hygiene in the home by following professional oral care advice, as well as encouraging mums-to-be to go for regular professional check-ups before conception and throughout their pregnancy.”

Detailed guidelines for pregnant women, women who are planning to have a child, and dental and healthcare professionals can be found on oralhealthandpregnancy.efp.org

The importance of oral health in pregnancyOral-B is also introducing the NEW Oral-B Gum & Enamel Repair Toothpaste, suitable for sensitive teeth and gums, to help patients address the increasing prevalence of gum or enamel issues. Featuring unique ActivRepairTM technology (with 2 sources of Stannous: Stannous Fluoride and Stannous Chloride), it is the best toothpaste from Oral-B to help restore gum health and prevent enamel erosion.

Happy teeth and gums mean happy healthy mums!

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