Aim: The aim of this secondary analysis is to explore whether the application of different definition criteria of periodontitis, used in other similar studies, has an influence on the significance of the association between periodontitis and prematurity or low birth weight.
Material and Methods: Fourteen periodontitis definitions and more than 50 periodontal disease continuous measurements, found in 23 published studies, were applied to a cohort study that included 1296 pregnant women. The associations with adverse pregnancy outcomes were analysed using logistic regression analysis.
Results: Six of the 14 tested definitions of periodontitis resulted in statistically significant adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for some of the adverse pregnancy outcomes, while no significance was found for the other eight case definitions. Out of more than 50 periodontal continuous measurements tested, only 17 demonstrated statistically significant ORs.
Conclusions: Our results support the hypothesis that the significance of the association between periodontal disease and pregnancy outcomes may be determined by the periodontal disease definition or measurement used.