Intended for healthcare professionals


Treatment of periodontal disease in pregnancy

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 29 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7090
  1. George Macones, professor and chair
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University in St Louis, School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63110, USA
  1. maconesg{at}

Does not improve pregnancy outcomes, but should still be part of routine preventive care

Epidemiological studies have shown that clinical and subclinical periodontal infections during pregnancy are associated with preterm birth. Infection is thought to result in the release of proinflammatory cytokines, which have downstream effects on other biological pathways and tissues. The association was first noted for bacterial vaginosis in the 1980s and 1990s, and randomised controlled trials were then performed to assess whether screening and treating the infection during pregnancy would improve pregnancy outcomes. Most of these trials found no benefit, and such screening is not currently recommended.1 More recently, observational data have suggested that periodontal disease may also be linked to preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes.2 Several large clinical trials have since been performed to assess whether pregnancy outcomes can be improved with treatment.


In the linked systematic review (doi:10.1136/bmj.c7017), Polyzos and …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription