Determine if periodontitis progression during pregnancy is associated with adverse birth outcomes.
Materials and Methods
We used clinical data and birth outcomes from the OPT Study, which randomized women to receive periodontal treatment before 21 weeks gestation (N=413) or after delivery (410). Birth outcomes were available for 812 women and follow-up periodontal data for 722, including 75 whose pregnancies ended <37 weeks. Periodontitis progression was defined as ≥ 3mm loss of clinical attachment. Birth outcomes were compared between non-progressing and progressing groups using the log rank and t tests, separately in all women and in untreated controls.
The distribution of gestational age at the end of pregnancy (P > 0.1) and mean birthweight (3295 versus 3184 grams, P = 0.11) did not differ significantly between women with and without disease progression. Gestational age and birthweight were not associated with change from baseline in percent of tooth sites with bleeding on probing or between those who did versus did not progress according to a published definition of disease progression (P > 0.05).
In these women with periodontitis and within this study’s limitations, disease progression was not associated with increased risk for delivering a preterm or low birthweight infant.
Maternal periodontitis and disease progression during pregnancy have been associated with elevated risk for preterm birth. We used data from a recent clinical trial to explore possible associations between progressive periodontitis and birth outcomes.
The distribution of gestational age at delivery and mean birthweights did not differ significantly between women who experienced progressive periodontitis and those who did not.
While it is important to treat dental diseases, including periodontitis, during pregnancy, women whose periodontal condition worsens during pregnancy are not at elevated risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.