Background: During pregnancy hormonal changes may increase the risk for developing gingivitis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the signs of gingival inflammation and the enzyme activity of matrix metalloproteinase-8 (aMMP-8) in the gingival crevicular fluid of pregnant women.
Methods: After approval by the ethics commission, a total of 40 volunteers participated in the study; group 1 (n = 20, age: 32 ± 4 years) with pregnant women, and group 2 (n = 20, age: 30 ± 10 years) with age-matched non-pregnant women as controls. After obtaining anamnestic data, the dental examination included assessment of oral hygiene, gingival inflammation, probing pocket depth, and recession. Gingival crevicular fluid was collected from both groups. A quantitative determination of aMMP-8 concentrations in the gingival crevicular fluid samples was performed.
Results: The aMMP-8 values of group 1 were higher (median 6.25 ng/mL aMMP-8 eluate) compared with group 2 (median 3.88 ng/mL aMMP-8 eluate), but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.265). Group 1 showed significantly increased probing pocket depths (p = 0.001). Gingival inflammation was present in 80% of the pregnant women, but only in 40% of the control subjects.
Conclusions: It was shown that during pregnancy changes related to periodontal health could be observed. Higher aMMP-8 values, elevated probing pocket depths, and an increase of gingival inflammation could be detected in comparison with non-pregnant women.