Probiotics in pregnancy
Hormonal changes during pregnancy make expecting mothers more susceptible to developing gingivitis. An increase in blood flow to gum tissue, causes gums to become more sensitive, irritable, swollen and to potentially bleed.
To prevent gingivitis during pregnancy, good oral hygiene and a healthy diet are recommended. A balanced and healthy oral flora can also provide additional protection against gingival inflammation and bleeding.
Oral administration of probiotics has been identified as a safe and effective adjunct in the management of periodontitis, even in its chronic form. Likewise in pregnancy, the oral probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis is associated with a marked improvement in periodontal inflammation in cases of manifest pregnancy gingivitis.
Clinical trial demonstrates safety and efficacy of probiotics for pregnancy gingivitis
A randomised controlled trial by Schlagenhauf, et al. demonstrates this very clearly. Forty-five healthy women (24 test/21 placebo) with pregnancy gingivitis in the third trimester of pregnancy were enrolled and took either probiotic lozenges containing Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis or identical tasting placebo tablets for three months. At the end of the observation period, a marked decrease in gingival inflammation was noted in the Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis group. Furthermore, the plaque coverage had reduced, although no oral hygiene instructions were given:
This study also showed that the use of Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis (GUM® PerioBalance®) is completely harmless in pregnancy.
In summary, oral administration of Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis is effective and safe in pregnancy gingivitis.