Effects of extended systemic and topical folate supplementation on gingivitis of pregnancy.


Thomson ME, Pack AR




J Clin Periodontol


A former double-blind study evaluated the effect of a 14-day period of systemic and topical folate supplementation on gingival inflammation during pregnancy (Pack & Thomson 1980). The current experiment was similar to the earlier one except that supplementation was for 28 days during the eighth month only. Thirty women during their 32nd week of pregnancy were randomly divided into three equal groups. Control Group A received placebo mouthwash (MW) and placebo tablets; Group B received placebo MW and one 5 mg folate tablet daily; Group C received placebo tablets and rinsed with folate MW twice daily for 1 min. At the beginning and end of the experimental period, oral status was determined using a plaque index (PlI) and a gingival index (GI). Each subject furnished a 1-week diet record which was analysed for dietary folate. No differences in parameters existed between groups at the commencement of the study except for folate levels which were lower in Group B. Results confirmed the findings of the former experiment. Group C showed highly significant improvement in GI despite no significant changes in PlI (0.001 less than P less than 0.01), whilst in Group B, changes in gingival health were not statistically significant (0.05 less than P less than 0.10). No significant changes were demonstrated in Group A. Folate levels increased significantly in Groups B and C. Dietary folate was similar in all groups.