Association of pregnant women periodontal status to preterm and low-birth weight babies: A systematic and evidence-based review

Vanka Shanthi, Amit Vanka, Ajay Bhambal, Vrinda Saxena, Sudhanshu Saxena, Sahana Shiv Kumar


The mouth serves as a mirror to general health and also as a portal for disease to the rest of the body. Since the old wives’ tale of “the loss of a tooth for every pregnancy”, oral health during pregnancy has long been a focus of interest. In the past decade, there has been mounting scientific evidence suggesting that periodontal disease may play an important role as a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes. Considering all the above stated factors this systematic review is aimed to focus on the association of periodontal diseases to preterm and low-birth weight (LBW) babies. In view of the large body of literature the review is limited to studies identified by computer searching. Hand searching of journals and gathering of unpublished reports and conference proceedings was outside the scope of the review. The PubMed database was searched using the search terms: periodontitis, preterm, LBW. The titles, authors, and abstracts from all studies identified by the electronic search were printed and reviewed independently on the basis of keywords, title and abstract, to determine whether these met the inclusion criteria. The electronic search identified 68 papers. After review of the study title, keywords and abstracts, 62 papers were identified potentially meeting inclusion criteria. Generally, all the studies reviewed in the paper suggest that periodontal disease may be a potential risk factor for preterm LBW babies.

Key Words: Low birth weight, periodontitis, preterm birth, systematic review

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