Orthodontic considerations for gingival health during pregnancy: a review

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Gingivitis is caused by several known systemic and local factors. Among systemic factors, the role of hormonal changes during pregnancy is well established. While presence of fixed orthodontic appliances alone may not cause gingivitis, factors such as pregnancy and poor oral hygiene combined together could precipitate acute gingival inflammation that may progress to a periodontal condition in a patient receiving orthodontic therapy. There has been an increase in the number of adult patients who are receiving orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic appliances could act as a potential plaque retentive source and aggravate inflammatory reactions that are seen during pregnancy. There is a lack of awareness regarding oral healthcare issues among patients who are pregnant and choose to seek orthodontic treatment. In addition, there is a need in the literature to outline management guidelines for patients who want to receive orthodontic treatment during pregnancy, with or without pre-existing gingival conditions. This review focuses on the aetiology of pregnancy gingivitis and the management of orthodontic patients during pregnancy. Our emphasis is on patient education, oral hygiene maintenance, preventive and treatment strategies for the management of gingival health in orthodontic patients during pregnancy. We also highlight some of the possible complications of initiating orthodontic treatment during pregnancy.

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