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Medical News & Perspectives
June 14, 2000

Periodontal Disease May Pose One Risk for Premature Birth

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JAMA. 2000;283(22):2922. doi:10.1001/jama.283.22.2922-JMN0614-4-1

Washington—Periodontal disease in mothers is an independent risk factor for premature birth. Treating the condition may help reduce the number of premature deliveries, said Marjorie K. Jeffcoat, DMD, chair of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry. She spoke at a press conference during the annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research.

In a case control study of mothers who delivered preterm infants matched with mothers who delivered normal-term infants—and controlled for such factors as ethnicity, occupation or socioeconomic status, alcohol intake, smoking, and age—preterm deliveries were three times more common in women with periodontal disease than in those with good oral health (Compendium. In press).