Association between maternal periodontal disease and preterm delivery and low birth weight

Yen-Li Wang, Jui-Der Liou, Whei-Lin Pan
Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2013, 52 (1): 71-6

OBJECTIVE: It has been suggested that periodontal disease is an important risk factor for preterm low birth weight (PLBW). The purpose of this study was to determine the association of maternal periodontitis with low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth (PB).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pregnant women (n = 211) aged 22-40 years were enrolled while receiving prenatal care. Dental plaque, probing depth, bleeding on probing, and clinical attachment level were used as criteria to classify three groups: a healthy group (HG; n = 82), a gingivitis group (GG; n = 67), and a periodontitis group (PG; n = 62). At delivery, birth weight was recorded.

RESULTS: Mean infant weight at delivery was 3084.9 g. The total incidence of preterm birth and LBW infants was 10.4% and 8.1%, respectively. The incidence of LBW infants was 4.2% for term and 40.9% for preterm gestations. Maternal height was not correlated with infant birth weight (p = 0.245). Significant differences in mean infant birth weight were observed among the HG, GG, and PG groups (p = 0.030). No significant relationship was found between periodontal disease and PB, but the association between periodontal disease and LBW was significant.

CONCLUSION: After appropriately controlling for confounding variables, our results do not support the hypothesis of an association that was observed in previous studies of maternal periodontal disease and infant PB, but the association between periodontal disease and LBW is significant.

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