• infant;
  • low birth weight;
  • periodontal diseases;
  • periodontitis;
  • premature birth;
  • premature;
  • systematic review;
  • treatment

Chambrone L, Pannuti CM, Guglielmetti MR, Chambrone LA. Evidence grade associating periodontitis with preterm birth and/or low birth weight. II. A systematic review of randomized trials evaluating the effects of periodontal treatment. J Clin Periodontol 2011; 38: 902–914. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2011.01761.x.


Aim: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate whether maternal periodontal disease treatment (MPDT) can reduce the incidence of preterm birth (PB) and/or low birth weight (LBW).

Methods: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for entries up to October 2010 without restrictions regarding the language of publication. Only randomized-controlled clinical trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effect of MPDT on birth term and birth weight were included. The search was conducted by two independent reviewers and random-effects meta-analyses were conducted methodically.

Results: Thirteen RCTs provided data, but only five trials were considered to be at a low risk of bias. The results of eight studies (61.5%) showed that MPDT may reduce the incidence of PB and/or LBW. However, the results of all meta-analyses showed contrasting results for PB [RR: 0.88 (95% CI: 0.72, 1.09)], LBW [RR: 0.78 (95% CI: 0.53, 1.17)] and PB/LBW [RR: 0.52 (95% CI: 0.08, 3.31)].

Conclusion: The results of this review show that MPDT did not decrease the risk of PB and/or LBW; however, the influence of specific aspects that were not investigated (disease diagnosis, extension and severity and the success of MPDT) should be evaluated by future RCTs.