Relationship between periodontal disease and preterm low birth weight: Systematic review

Amare Teshome, Asmare Yitayeh

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72 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Periodontal disease is a neglected bacterial infection that causes destruction of the periodontium in pregnant women. Yet its impact on the occurrence of adverse pregnancy outcomes has not systematically evaluated and there is no clear statement on the relationship between periodontal disease and preterm low birth weight. The objective of this study was to summarize the evidence on the impact of periodontal disease on preterm low birth weight. Methods: We searched the following data bases from January 2005 to December 2015: CINAHL (cumulative index to nursing and allied health literature), MEDLINE, AMED, EMBASE (excerpta medica database), Cochrane library and Google scholar. Only case-control studies with full text in English were eligible. Critical appraisal of the identified articles was done by two authors independently to provide the possible relevance of the papers for inclusion in the review process. The selected Case control studies were critically appraised with 12 items structured checklist adapted from national institute of health (NIH). Odds ratio (OR) or risk ratios (RR) were extracted from the selected studies. The two reviewers who selected the appropriate studies also extracted the data and evaluated the risk of bias. Results: Of 229 articles, ten studies with a total of 2423 participants with a mean age ranged from 13 to 49 years were met the inclusion criteria. The studies focused on preterm birth, low birth weight and /or preterm low birth weight and periodontitis. Of the selected studies, 9 implied an association between periodontal disease and increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight and /or preterm low birth weight outcome (ORs ranging from 2.04 to 4.19) and only one study found no evidence of association. Conclusion: Periodontal disease may be one of the possible risk factor for preterm low birth weight infant. However, more precise studies with randomized clinical trial with sufficient follow-up period must be done to confirm the association.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215
Number of pages10
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Low birth weight
  • Periodontal disease
  • Preterm birth
  • Systematic review

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