The association between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes in Northern Tanzania: a cross-sectional study
Background: For the past two decades, studies have investigated the relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, low birth weight and preterm premature rupture of membranes.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of periodontal disease and associated adverse pregnancy outcomes among women delivering at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC).
Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on the use of patients’ files, clinical examinations and oral interviews with mothers who delivered at the KCMC. Pregnant women with singleton babies (N=1117) who delivered at the KCMC were recruited for the study. Intra-oral examination was performed within five days of birth. The Community Periodontal Index was used to assess periodontal disease
Results: The prevalence of periodontal disease was 14.2%. Periodontal disease was significantly associated with higher odds of pre-eclampsia [adjusted Odds Ratio 95% Confidence Interval (aOR=4.12;95%CI:2.20-7.90)], low birth weight (aOR=2.41;95%CI:1.34-4.33) and preterm birth (aOR=2.32;95%CI:1.33-4.27). There was no significant association between periodontal disease and preterm premature rupture of membranes (aORs 1.83;95%CI:0.75-4.21) and eclampsia (3.71;95%CI:0.80-17.13).
Conclusion: Maternal periodontal disease is a potential independent risk indicator for pre-eclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm birth. Periodontal assessment and therapy should form part of the preventive antenatal care provided to women in developing countries.
Keywords: Preterm birth; low birth weight; pre-eclampsia; eclampsia; preterm premature rupture of membranes; periodontal disease; periodontitis; cross-sectional studies.