, Volume 100, Issue 2, pp 232-240
Date: 08 Jul 2011

Periodontal disease as a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of case–control studies

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Abstract

Periodontal disease is a highly prevalent group of illnesses of microbial etiology, whose consequence is a severe breakdown of tooth-supporting structures. A link between periodontal infection and several systemic conditions, among which adverse pregnancy outcomes, has been suggested in the recent years. The aim of this review based on case–control studies was to evaluate if periodontal disease could be considered as a risk factor for preterm birth, low birth-weight and preterm low birth-weight. An electronic search (via Pubmed) was performed for case–control studies investigating the relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes. From the initially retrieved 417 articles, 17 case–control studies, accounting for a total of 10,148 patients, were included in the review and in the meta-analysis. The estimated odds ratio was 1.78 (CI 95%: 1.58, 2.01) for preterm birth, 1.82 (CI 95%: 1.51, 1.20) for low birth-weight and 3.00 (CI 95%: 1.93, 4.68) for preterm low birth-weight. Despite the results of the analysis of pooled data suggested a link between periodontal diseases and adverse pregnancy outcomes, the presence of important confounders, whose effect could not be addressed, prevents a validation of the meta-analysis outcomes. Further more accurate investigations based on individual data analysis could give a better insight into the topic of the present review.