A prospective study to investigate the relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcome

Br Dent J. 2004 Sep 11;197(5):251-8; discussion 247. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4811620.


Objective: This study aimed to investigate a relationship between maternal periodontal disease and preterm birth, low birth weight and late miscarriage.

Design: Prospective study in a single centre.

Setting: Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital Trust, London, UK between August 1998 and July 2001.

Subjects and methods: Pregnant women were recruited on attending an ultrasound scan at approximately 12 weeks of pregnancy. Subjects completed a questionnaire and underwent periodontal examination.

Main outcome measures: Plaque and bleeding scores, pocket probing depth and loss of attachment. Pregnancy outcome data was collected retrospectively, including gestational age and birth weight at delivery.

Results: Data were collected for 3,738 subjects. Regression analysis indicated that there were no significant relationships between the severity of periodontal disease and either preterm birth (PTB) or low birth weight (LBW). In contrast, there did appear to be a correlation between poorer periodontal health and those that experienced a late miscarriage.

Conclusions: There was no association between either preterm birth or low birth weight and periodontal disease in this population. There is evidence of a correlation between markers of poorer periodontal health and late miscarriage.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / classification
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / etiology
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / classification
  • Periodontal Diseases / classification
  • Periodontal Diseases / complications*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontal Pocket / classification
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Trimesters
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies