The Association of Maternal Periodontal Disease with Preterm Delivery: A Prospective Study

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Introduction: The association of maternal periodontitis with Preterm Birth (PB) and low birth weight (LBW), which has been suggested by a number of retrospective studies, was examined by a prospective follow-up study.

Methods: A total of 215 pregnant women from Hartford Hospital, Connecticutwere offered a dental screening during a routine prenatal care visit. Patients were given a score of 1-4 indicating their overall oral health status. A score of 1 indicated no oral care needed (assigned to group A). A score of 2 and 3 signified the need for routine prophylaxis with radiographic imaging and the need for comprehensive care, respectively (assigned to group B). A score of 4 indicated a need for urgent treatment (assigned to group C). All patients were treated as indicated and prospectively followed to delivery over a 12-month rolling recruitment.

Results: Of the 215 women, 25 (12%) had a preterm birth, including 15 (9%) from group B (n=165), and 10 (22%) from group C (n=45). There were significant associations between severity of periodontal disease and probabilities of PB (<37 weeks, <34 weeks, and <32 weeks). Adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) for the above PB parameters are 2.46 (1.01– 6.01), 3.69 (1.01– 13.47), 16.07 (1.76 – 147.04), respectively. However, no association was found between severity of periodontal disease and LBW at term (<2500g) or small for gestational age.

Conclusions: Our data suggests that maternal periodontal disease may significantly increase the risk of preterm birth, even though routine dental prophylaxis and / or treatment have been given during pregnancy.

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Austin Journal of Women's Health





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