Objective. It has been suggested that poor oral health and periodontal disease, in particular, associate with adverse birth outcomes. However, previous reports on the topic are conflicting. The objective of the present cross-sectional study was therefore to compare the oral health parameters of a racially and socio-economically homogeneous group of women who gave birth before 259 gestational days (37 weeks) with those of women who went full-term. Material and Methods. We studied various dental parameters, including prevalence of dental caries, gingival bleeding on probing, the probing periodontal pocket depths, and the carriage of periodontal pathogens in 328 all-Caucasian women with singleton births. Seventy-seven of the women had preterm births, while 251 had full-term. Dental data were recorded within 2 days postpartum and analyzed with data from medical history, prenatal care, and delivery records. Results. Preterm mothers had more dental caries (93.5%) than full-term mothers (85.3%) when assessed as carious teeth in the mouth (p=0.06). In clinical and microbiological periodontal health parameters, however, no differences could be seen between the preterm and full-term mothers. Primiparity, low weight-gain, and antimicrobial drug use during pregnancy were the significant predictors for preterm birth. Conclusions. Although we cannot make any causal linkage, the oral health parameters were no different in women who experienced preterm births compared with those who had full-term births in this cohort. Only established systemic risk factors explained the preterm birth.
Fields of Science
- 313 Dentistry