Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Successful periodontal therapy may reduce the risk of preterm birth, according to dental study

Date:
September 15, 2010
Source:
University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
Periodontal researchers have found a possible link between the success of gum-disease treatment and the likelihood of giving birth prematurely.

A collaboration led by a periodontal researcher from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine has found a possible link between the success of gum-disease treatment and the likelihood of giving birth prematurely, according to a study published in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

While a number of factors are associated with an increased rate of preterm birth, such as low body-mass index, alcohol consumption and smoking, the study adds to the body of research that suggests oral infection may also be associated with such an increase.

The study looked at 322 pregnant women, all with gum disease. Half the group was given oral-hygiene instruction and treated with scaling and root planning, which consists of cleaning above and below the gum line. The second half received only oral-hygiene instruction.

The incidence of preterm birth was high in both the treatment group and the untreated group: 52.4 percent of the women in the untreated control group had a preterm baby compared with 45.6 percent in the treatment group. These differences were not statistically significant.

However, researchers then looked at whether the success of periodontal treatment was associated with the rate of preterm birth. Participants were examined 20 weeks after the initial treatment, and success was characterized by reduced inflammation, no increase in probing depth and loosening of the teeth.

Within the treatment group of 160 women, 49 were classified as having successful gum treatment and only four, or 8 percent, had a preterm baby. In comparison, 111 women had unsuccessful treatment and 69, or 62 percent, had preterm babies.

The results show that pregnant women who were resistant to the effects of scaling and root planning were significantly more likely to deliver preterm babies than those for whom it was successful.

The mean age of the women in the study was 23.7 years; 87.5 percent were African-American, and 90 percent had not seen a dentist for tooth cleaning.

"First and foremost, this study shows that pregnant women can receive periodontal treatment safely in order to improve their oral health," said Marjorie Jeffcoat, professor of periodontics at Penn Dental Medicine and lead author of the paper. "Second, in a high risk group of pregnant women, such as those patients who participated in this study, successful periodontal treatment when rendered as an adjunct to conventional obstetric care may reduce the incidence of preterm birth."

Future papers will address the role of antimicrobial mouth rinses in reducing the incidence of preterm birth.

"Researchers have previously suggested that severe gum infections cause an increase in the production of prostaglandin and tumour necrosis factor, chemicals which are associated with preterm labor," Philip Steer, editor-in-chief of BJOG, said. "This new study shows a strong link between unsuccessful gum-disease treatment and preterm birth; however, we need to bear in mind that 69 percent of women failed to respond to the dental treatment given. Therefore, more effective treatment will need to be devised before we can be sure that successful treatment improves outcome, rather than simply being a marker of pregnancies with a lower background level of inflammation that will go to term anyway."

The study was conducted by Jeffcoat, Mary Sammel, Bonnie Clothier and Annette Catlin of Penn Dental Medicine; Samuel Parry of the Department of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Penn's School of Medicine; and George Macones of Washington University in St. Louis.

The study was funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and an educational grant from the Procter and Gamble Company.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M Jeffcoat, S Parry, M Sammel, B Clothier, A Catlin, G Macones. Periodontal infection and preterm birth: successful periodontal therapy reduces the risk of preterm birth. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2011; 118 (2): 250 DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02713.x

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania. "Successful periodontal therapy may reduce the risk of preterm birth, according to dental study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100915080444.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania. (2010, September 15). Successful periodontal therapy may reduce the risk of preterm birth, according to dental study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100915080444.htm
University of Pennsylvania. "Successful periodontal therapy may reduce the risk of preterm birth, according to dental study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100915080444.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins