Previous studies have explored the effect of periodontal treatment, irrespective of efficacy of treatment, in reducing infant prematurity. In a study titled "Risk of Preterm Birth Is Reduced with Successful Periodontal Treatment," lead researcher M. Jeffcott, and colleagues S. Parry and M. Sammel (all from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) and G. Macones (Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri) determined whether a reduction in infant prematurity was associated with successful periodontal treatment.
Pregnant subjects between 6 and 20 weeks gestation (using standard pregnancy dating criteria) were eligible for screening and enrollment. Eight hundred and seventy-two subjects with and without periodontal disease were followed. One hundred and sixty subjects with periodontal disease were treated with scaling and root planing. Subjects received periodontal examinations before and after scaling and root planing. Subjects were classified post-hoc according to the results of periodontal treatment: successful treatment ("non-exposure") or unsuccessful treatment ("exposure").
The primary study outcome for this clinical trial was the occurrence of spontaneous preterm birth >periodontal disease had 7.2 percent rate of prematurity less than 35 weeks gestation; subjects with periodontal disease had 23.4 percent rate of prematurity >periodontal disease had a significantly lower incidence of preterm birth less than 35 weeks gestation.
This is a summary of abstract # 690, "Risk of Preterm Birth Is Reduced with Successful Periodontal Treatment," to be presented by M. Jeffcott at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 5, 2010, in room 150A of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, during the 39th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.