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J Periodontol. 2014 Dec;85(12):1684-92. doi: 10.1902/jop.2014.140248.

Effect of intensive oral hygiene regimen during pregnancy on periodontal health, cytokine levels, and pregnancy outcomes: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL.



Data are limited on the potential effect of intensive oral hygiene regimens and periodontal therapy during pregnancy on periodontal health, gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and serum cytokines, and pregnancy outcomes.


A clinical trial was conducted on 120 community-dwelling, 16- to 35-year-old pregnant women at 16 to 24 weeks of gestation. Each participant presented with clinical evidence of generalized, moderate-to-severe gingivitis. Oral hygiene products were provided, together with instructions for an intensive daily regimen of hygiene practices. Non-surgical therapy was provided at baseline. Oral examinations were completed at baseline and again at 4 and 8 weeks. In addition, samples of blood and GCF were collected at baseline and week 8. Mean changes in clinical variables and GCF and serum cytokine levels (interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α) between baseline and week 8 were calculated using paired t test. Pregnancy outcomes were recorded at parturition.


RESULTS indicated a statistically significant reduction in all clinical variables (P <0.0001) and decreased levels of TNF-α (P = 0.0076) and IL-1β (P = 0.0098) in GCF during the study period. The rate of preterm births (<37 weeks of gestation) was 6.7% (P = 0.113) and low birth weight (<2,500 g) was 10.2% (P = 1.00).


Among the population studied, intensive instructions and non-surgical periodontal therapy provided during 8 weeks at early pregnancy resulted in decreased gingival inflammation and a generalized improvement in periodontal health. Large-scale, randomized, controlled studies are needed to substantiate these findings.



Cytokines; gingivitis; inflammation; oral hygiene; pregnancy; premature birth

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