a BELS-certified medical writer and editor, and an editorial consultant for Contemporary OB/GYN
The higher expression of markers associated with preterm birth in women with periodontitis or gingivitis suggests yes.
An observational study by researchers from the University of Granada and the University of Michigan suggests a link between periodontitis and preterm birth. The results showed significantly higher expression of markers associated with preterm birth in women with periodontitis or gingivitis than in controls.
Published in Histology and Histopathology, the case-control study was performed in 130 puerperal women, 65 of whom had preterm, low-birthweight infants and 65 who had full-term, normal-weight infants. Data were gathered from all the women on sociodemographic, gynecologic, and periodontal variables and on placental immunohistochemical cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin-1β (IL-1 β), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR1), podoplanin, and heat shock protein (HSP70). Expression of those 5 markers in placental chorionic villi is associated with preterm birth and/or low birthweight.
Compared with the controls, the periodontal variables were significantly worse and the placental COX-2 (P=0.043), HSP70 (P=0.01), IL-1 β (P=0.01), VEGFR1 (P=0.032), and podoplanin (P=0.058) expressions were significantly higher in the women with mild/moderate periodontitis/gingivitis. Only the COX-2 (P=0.026) and VEGFR1 (P=0.005) expressions were significantly increased in women with periodontitis versus without the disease. COX-2 values were also increased in women with a history of genitourinary infection (P=0.036), premature rupture of membranes (P=0.012) or drug treatment (P=0.050).