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Periodontitis doubles the risk of gestational diabetes.

 There is ample scientific evidence linking periodontitis with a higher risk of diabetes. 

Periodontitis doubles the risk of gestational diabetes

However, until now, hardly any studies have shown a possible influence of this periodontal disease on the risk of developing gestational diabetes.

However, a recent study, which included 3523 pregnant women, compared the incidence of diabetes during pregnancy between those who had untreated periodontitis in weeks 1-4 of gestation and those who were periodontally healthy. The study observed a significantly higher incidence of gestational diabetes (11.21%) in women with periodontitis than in those without periodontitis (4.79%). This would mean that a pregnant woman with periodontitis would have a 2.5 times higher risk of diabetes during her pregnancy than a woman without periodontitis.

In this same study, they treated pregnancy in a percentage of the women with periodontitis (specifically, those who accepted the treatment), observing that the incidence of gestational diabetes in these women was reduced by almost half (from 11.21% to 7.32%).

They also noted that in women with periodontitis who were not treated, a positive relationship was established between the existence of the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis and the increase of two inflammatory mediators that play an essential role in the development of diabetes (interleukin eight and tumor necrosis factor-alpha).

According to this study, a woman who wishes to become pregnant should check her gums beforehand to avoid problems that could affect the development of her pregnancy. It also confirms the safety profile and the benefits of periodontal treatment during pregnancy, if necessary. 

About gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is an increase in blood sugar (glucose) levels that begins or is first diagnosed during pregnancy. This happens because pregnancy-related hormones can block insulin's work in a woman's body. When this happens, a pregnant woman's blood sugar levels can rise above the recommended range. Although this type of diabetes can often be controlled with a healthy diet and regular exercise, sometimes the mother may need insulin.

Gestational diabetes can lead to health problems for the mother, such as preeclampsia (high blood pressure), excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid, or urinary tract infection. The most common consequence of gestational diabetes for the baby is hypoglycemia at birth, but hypocalcemia, fetal immaturity, and even intrauterine death can also occur.