Association between maternal gingivitis, low birth weight and preterm delivery
Objective: To determine the association between maternal gingivitis and pregnancy outcome, including low birth weight (LBW) and preterm delivery. This prospective study was conducted among 300 randomly selected pregnant women aged 20-34 years attending the antenatal clinic, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin-City, Edo state. Data were collected by means of interviewer-administrated questionnaires, clinical examination using Gingival Bleeding Index and respondents' hospital records. The prevalence of gingival bleeding using Gingival Bleeding Index among the test group at 12 weeks was 91(63.2%) while control group was 66 (43.1%) which was significant. Prevalence of score 1 increased from 36.8% at 12weeks to 70.8% at 28 week; while score 2 decreased from 54.9% at 12weeks to 27.1% at 28weeks. Similarly, score 3 decreased from 8.3% at 12weeks to 2.1% at 28weeks which indicates a reduction in the number of women with spontaneous bleeding. The prevalence of gingival bleeding improved significantly from 91(63.2%) at 12weeks to 42(29.2%) at 28weeks. Test group with reduced gingival bleeding did not have low birth weight deliveries. The 18 low birth weight deliveries in the study were from the untreated mothers. However the same test group had 27 (79.4%) out of the 34 preterm deliveries recorded in the study. This was not statistically significant ( p > 0.05). There is some association between maternal gingivitis and pregnancy outcome. Further studies are necessary in the areas of microbiology, biochemistry of the subgingival flora and dietary analysis.