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J Dent Res. 2002 May;81(5):313-8.

Maternal periodontal disease and preterm low birthweight: case-control study.

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  • 1Department of Oral Growth and Development, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London, Turner Street, London E1 2AD, UK. E.S.Davenport@mds.qmw.ac.uk


Periodontal disease has been suggested to be an important risk factor for preterm low birthweight (PLBW). Here we report a case-control study of 236 cases (infants < 37 wks and weighing < 2499 g) and a daily random sample of 507 controls (> or = 38 wks and weighing > or = 2500 g). Clinical periodontal indices were measured on the labor wards. Associated risk factors for periodontal disease and PLBW were ascertained by means of a structured questionnaire and maternity notes. The risk for PLBW decreased with increasing pocket depth (odds ratio [OR] 0.83, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.68 to 1.00). After adjustment for maternal age, ethnicity, maternal education, smoking, alcohol consumption, infections, and hypertension during pregnancy, this decreased further (OR 0.78, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.99). We found no evidence for an association between PLBW and periodontal disease. Our results do not support a specific drive to improve periodontal health of pregnant women as a means of improving pregnancy outcomes.

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