No evidence that periodontal treatment during pregnancy prevents adverse pregnancy outcomes

shutterstock_48486751 stomatologist shows x-ray

The latest critical summary from the ADA Centre for Evidence-based dentistry looks at  a systematic review and meta-analysis of obstetric outcomes after periodontal treatment  that was first published in  2010 in the British Medical Journal.

A number of studies have associated periodontal disease with adverse obstetric outcomes ( pre term, low birth weight,etc)  The aim of the review was to see whether scale and root planing (SRP) reduced these adverse outcomes.

The review included 11 randomised controlled trials involving (6,558 participants), just over half ( 6) of which were of low quality. The higher quality trials contributed about two thirds of the participants (4,500).  There was some heterogeneity in the definition of periodontal disease.   The authors found that there was no evidence  that SRP  prevents  preterm birth or other adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Go to the ADA Critical Summary

Go to the PubMed abstract of the original review

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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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