Honestly, they don't know.
It's elevated in a number of diseases, but treating it with antioxidants (vitamin C and E) doesn't seem to help, either in PE or in other cases. There are probably some situations I'm not remembering where it might be beneficial, but that's always a question for your docs. :)
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What does oxidative stress mean?
Women with oxidative stress early in pregnancy, as measured by an 8-isoprostane concentration >/=75th percentile, were at an increased risk for developing preeclampsia. The presence of periodontal disease did not appear to modify this risk.
So that countermands the previous studies showing a correlation between PE and peridontal disease; it's the higher level of oxidative stress and not the gum disease that's a concern. Not that anyone is healthiest if walking around with gum disease, for an entirely different set of reasons!
(Elevated oxidation is well-recognized as a component of preeclampsia, which is why they looked into antioxidant vitamins as therapy. They don't seem to help, though, so ask your docs before starting any vitamin supplements.)
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