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Probiotic reduces pregnancy gingivitis

During pregnancy, hormonal changes increase blood flow to gum tissues, cause inflammation, suppress the immune response to oral bacteria, and allow plaque to form and develop into gingivitis. Untreated, gingivitis can cause periodontitis, an infection that raises chances for preterm birth.

In this study, 45 healthy women with pregnancy gingivitis at the start of the third trimester took a placebo or the probiotic L. reuteri in a lozenge that delivered five-hundred-million colony-forming units, twice per day until birth.

After the women delivered their babies, gingival symptoms and plaque build-up in the probiotic group were significantly lower compared to placebo. Doctors concluded L. reuteri reduces harmful oral microbes without harming teeth, and may be a valuable new tool to help control pregnancy gingivitis.

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