Preterm (PT) and Low birth weight (LBW) are considered to be the most relevant biological determinants of newborn infants survival, both in developed and in developing countries. Numerous risk factors for PT and LBW have been defined in the literature. Infections of the genitourinary tract infections along with various biological and genetic factors are considered to be the most common etiological factors for PT/LBW deliveries. However, evidence suggests that sub-clinical infection sites that are also distant from the genitor-urinary tract may be an important cause for PT/LBW deliveries. Maternal periodontal status has also been reported by many authors as a possible risk factor for PT and LBW, though not all of the actual data support such hypothesis. The aim of this paper is to review the evidence from various published literature on the association between the maternal periodontal status and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Although this review found a consistent association between periodontitis and PT/LBW, this finding should be treated with great caution until the sources of heterogeneity can be explained.
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