202301 Self-reported periodontal health and prematurity

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:50 AM

Collin C. John, MD MPH , School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Martha D. Mullett, MD MPH , School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Richard Meckstroth, DDS , School of Dentristry, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Gina Sharps, RDH BS , School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Objective: Periodontal disease has been thought to be a risk factor for premature birth. This study uses three specific questions about periodontal health asked of the mother at the time of birth in order to explore the association between self-reported dental health profile and premature delivery.

Methods: From August 7,2007 to August 08, 3007, 21,172 females who gave birth in West Virginia completed the West Virginia Birth Score questionnaire. Answers to three specific questions (number of loose teeth, frequency of bleeding gums, and frequency of dental cleanings) were combined to create a Composite Dental Risk Profile Score (CDRP) which should reflect the risk of periodontal disease. A high CDRP indicates a high risk dental profile. The mothers were then grouped into a low, moderate, and high risk category based on their score. The association between the CDRP and premature births (defined as delivery at 37 weeks or below) was analyzed using Chi-Square and ANOVA.

Results: There was no significant difference among the dental risk categories and the rates of prematurity (16%, 13%, 13%) for the low, moderate, and high risk groups. Additionally, when further stratifying the premature infants into different age subgroups (36-37 weeks, 33-35 weeks, <=2 weeks) there was also no significant difference noted. There was also no correlation between CDRP and gestational age of the infant (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.060).

Conclusion: There appears to be little association between self-reported periodontal health and premature birth.

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate that no association appears to exist between self-reported periodontal health in mothers and premature birth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Obtained Masters of Public Health Degree at West Virginia University in 2007.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.