Periodontal disease as a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes: a prospective cohort study

J Clin Periodontol. 2008 Jan;35(1):16-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2007.01166.x. Epub 2007 Nov 21.


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the association between periodontitis and the incidence of preterm birth (PB), low birth weight (LBW) and preterm low birth weight (PLBW) MATERIAL AND METHODS: One thousand and ninety-six women were enrolled. Periodontal data, pregnancy outcome variables and information on other factors that may influence adverse pregnancy outcomes were collected. Data were analysed using a logistic regression model.

Results: The incidence of PB and LBW was 6.6% and 6.0%, respectively. The incidence of PLBW was 3.3%. PB was related to mother's age, systemic diseases, onset of prenatal care, previous PBs, complications of pregnancy, type of delivery, the presence of untreated caries and the presence of periodontitis (odds ratio 1.77, 95% confidence interval: 1.08-2.88). LBW was related to mother's smoking habits, ethnicity, systemic diseases, previous LBW babies, complications of pregnancy and type of delivery. PLBW was related to mother's age, onset of prenatal care, systemic diseases, previous LBW babies, complications of pregnancy and type of delivery.

Conclusions: The factors involved in many cases of adverse pregnancy outcomes have still not being identified, although systemic infections may play a role. This study found a modest association between periodontitis and PB. Further research is required to establish whether periodontitis is a risk factor for PB and/or LBW.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Periodontal Diseases / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Premature Birth / etiology*
  • Smoking / adverse effects