Background: Preterm low birth weight was reported to be related to periodontal infections that might influence the fetus–placenta complex. The aim of this study was to provide periodontal treatment for pregnant women and to evaluate if this treatment can interfere with pregnancy duration and weight of the newborn.
Methods: The sample consisted of 450 pregnant women who were under prenatal care at a polyclinic in Três Corações, Brazil. Women with risk factors, such as systemic alterations (ischemic cardiopathy, hypertension, tuberculosis, diabetes, cancer, anemia, seizure, psychopathology, urinary tract infection, sexually transmitted diseases, asthma, and human immunodeficiency virus), and/or users of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs were excluded from the study. Data related to age, socioeconomic level, race, marital status, number of previous pregnancies, and previous preterm delivery also were evaluated. Initially, the sample was divided into two groups: 122 healthy patients (group 1) and 328 patients with periodontal disease (group 2). In group 2, 266 patients underwent treatment and 62 patients dropped out. After mothers gave birth, pregnancy duration and the weight of all infants were analyzed and recorded.
Results: There was no statistical difference between the healthy and treated groups. However, there was a difference in the non-treated group, with a 79% incidence of preterm low birth weight. Educational level, previous preterm birth, and periodontal disease were related significantly to preterm delivery (P <0.001).
Conclusion: Periodontal disease was related significantly to preterm low birth weight.
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