ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, strong evidence for an association between maternal periodontitis and low birthweight has started to appear. However, few intervention studies have been proposed for investigating this hypothesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether periodontal therapy among pregnant women would reduce the incidence of low birthweight.
A nonrandomized intervention study was performed, with two control groups. The sample comprised 339 pregnant women: 141 in the experimental group (treated for periodontitis), 145 in control group 1 (without periodontitis) and 53 in control group 2 (with untreated periodontitis). The experimental group received periodontal treatment throughout pregnancy, whereas control group 1 was only monitored over the same period. After delivery, birthweight information on the newborns was obtained. The analysis procedures consisted of stratified analysis followed by logistic regression.
The frequency of low birthweight among the women with treated periodontitis was 9.22%, while it was 13.10% in the group without periodontal disease. However, the difference was not statistically significant (RR 0.72; 95% CI 0.36-1.45). The occurrence of this outcome in the group with untreated periodontitis (24.53%) was greater than in the other two groups.
This suggests that periodontal therapy is a protective factor for birthweight.
Pediatrics International 06/2009; 52(1):57-64. · 0.63 Impact Factor