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J Periodontol. 2011 Feb;82(2):195-200. doi: 10.1902/jop.2010.100384. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Vitamin D status and periodontal disease among pregnant women.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.



Maternal periodontal disease is found in < or = 40% of pregnant women and is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Vitamin D deficiency may play a role in periodontal disease and tooth loss, and insufficient vitamin D status is common among pregnant women. The objective of this study is to examine the relationship between maternal vitamin D status and periodontal disease.


A case-control study was conducted. Cases were defined as pregnant women with clinical moderate to severe periodontal disease; controls were pregnant women who were periodontally healthy. Maternal data were chart abstracted and serum was collected between 14 and 26 weeks of gestation. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels were measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Median serum 25(OH)D levels and prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (defined as <75 nmol/l) were compared between cases and controls. The odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for moderate to severe periodontal disease among women with vitamin D insufficiency was calculated using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for maternal race, season of blood draw, and other potential confounders.


A total of 117 cases were compared to 118 controls. Cases had lower median 25(OH)D levels than controls (59 versus 100 nmol/l; P <0.001) and were more likely to have vitamin D insufficiency (65% versus 29%; P <0.001). The adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for moderate to severe periodontal disease among women with vitamin D insufficiency was 2.1 (0.99 to 4.5).


Vitamin D insufficiency (serum 25[OH]D <75 nmol/l) is associated with maternal periodontal disease during pregnancy. Vitamin D supplementation represents a potential therapeutic strategy to improve maternal oral health.

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