OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the role of periodontal treatment (PT) in the prevention of preterm delivery (PD). METHODS: A comparative prospective study of two groups of pregnant women with threatening PD was carried out at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University of Szeged: group A (n = 39) comprised patients who were merely examined dentally for periodontitis, and group B (n = 44) consisted of patients who received periodontal treatment during pregnancy. RESULTS: Periodontitis was identified in 19 cases (48.7%) in group A and in 18 cases (40.9%) in group B. The mean birth weight of the newborns was significantly higher in group B (3,009.1 g) than in group A (2,580.8 g; p = 0.007). The rate of premature birth was significantly lower in the group who received PT (p = 0.012, odds ratio = 3.5, 95% confidence interval = 1.38-8.86). CONCLUSIONS: The PT of pregnant women can decrease the rate of premature birth and consequently lead to a better neonatal health outcome.
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