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J Periodontol. 1999 Jul;70(7):779-85.

The influence of general health and socio-cultural variables on the periodontal condition of pregnant women.

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Department of Oral Medicine and Periodontics, Faculty of Odontology, University of Seville, Spain.



There has been speculation as to whether hormonal changes during pregnancy or pre-existing conditions of general, oral, and dental health and socio-cultural background have a greater impact on the development of periodontal disease during pregnancy.


This study evaluates the periodontal status of 130 pregnant women (plaque index, bleeding index, probing depth, and clinical attachment level) and its relationship to demographic (age, professional level, education, and urban or rural residence) and clinical variables (gestation period, previous pregnancy, health status, previous live births, previous periodontal maintenance). The hospital in which the study was conducted was selected during a prior pilot study. All records were compiled by the same trained examiner with a calibrated manual probe. Statistical tests used were ANOVA and ANCOVA.


Results showed a mean plaque index of 58.7+/-2.79%, which increased with statistical significance when the professional level was lower (P <0.014), education was lower (P <0.01), previous periodontal maintenance was less frequent (P <0.00001) and patients lived in rural areas (P <0.0003). The mean bleeding index was 68.8+/-2.44% and was significant in relation to lower professional level (P <0.025), less frequent previous periodontal maintenance (P <0.029), and an urban residence (P <0.0011). A mean clinical attachment level of 0.84+/-0.65 mm was observed and was related significantly with age (26 to 30 years) (P <0.001) and the third trimester of gestation period (P <0.0025). The mean probing depth was 1.71+/-0.3 mm, which related significantly with age (36 to 42 years) (P <0.0002), lower professional level (P <0.0013), rural residence (P <0.0025), 2 or more previous live births (P <0.0001), and non-attendance for previous periodontal maintenance (P <0.0023). Using ANCOVA testing and adjusting by age, the differences relating to previous live births disappeared.


Gingivitis due to accumulation of plaque was the most characteristic periodontal condition in this sample and was related to professional level, level of education, and previous periodontal maintenance. These results illustrate the importance of establishing periodontal preventive measures for pregnant women, even though their demographic and clinical characteristics do not differ from those of the general population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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