Effect of periodontal disease treatment during pregnancy on preterm birth incidence: a metaanalysis of randomized trials

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Mar;200(3):225-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.09.020.


We conducted a metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials to determine whether periodontal disease treatment with scaling and/or root planing during pregnancy may reduce preterm birth (PTB) or low birthweight (LBW) infant incidence. Treatment resulted in significantly lower PTB (odds ratio [OR], 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35-0.86; P = .008) and borderline significantly lower LBW (OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.23-1.00; P = .049), whereas no difference was found for spontaneous abortion/stillbirth (OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.41-1.31; P = .292). Subgroup analysis suggested significant effect of treatment in the absence of history of PTB or LBW (OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.29-0.77; P = .003) and less severe periodontal disease as defined by probing depth (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.28-0.87; P = .014) or bleeding on probing site (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.14-0.95; P = .04). If ongoing large and well-designed randomized trials support our results, we might need to reassess current practice or at least be cautious prior to rejecting treatment of periodontal disease with scaling and/or root planing during pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic