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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69  

Low birth weight among newborns and maternal poor periodontal status

Professor and HOD, Department of OMDR, Maratha Mandal's NGH IDS, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication5-Mar-2014

Correspondence Address:
Renuka Ammanagi
Professor and HOD, Department of OMDR, Maratha Mandal's NGH IDS, R. S.47 A/2, Bauxite Road, Belgaum - 590 010, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.128174

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How to cite this article:
Ammanagi R. Low birth weight among newborns and maternal poor periodontal status. Indian J Public Health 2014;58:69

How to cite this URL:
Ammanagi R. Low birth weight among newborns and maternal poor periodontal status. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Oct 2];58:69. Available from:


I would like to congratulate Choudhary et al. [1] for evaluating various factors responsible for low birth weight (LBW) among newborns in urban low socio-economic status community in the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. The authors have evaluated various demographic, biologic and nutritional factors for LBW among newborns. Researchers today believe that other than low socio-economic status, inadequate prenatal care, drug abuse, alcohol and tobacco use, hypertension, diabetes and multiple pregnancies there are certain other unrecognized risk factors which may contribute to the continuing prevalence of pre-term LBW (PLBW) infants. Researchers correlate between subclinical genitourinary and periodontal infections as adversely affecting the pregnancy outcomes. [2]

As LBW is seen more often in pre-term newborns, weather all the study participants-290 pregnant women here in the present study completed full-term pregnancy (37-42 weeks or 280 days) before delivery is not very clear to the reader. Pre-term delivery (PTD) along with LBW is the major cause of neonatal mortality and nearly one-half of all serious long-term neurological morbidities. [3] Hence it is important to rule out PTD as one of the causative factors for LBW among newborns especially in this particular study.

Second point to be stressed here is regarding the growing evidence of a positive association between poor periodontal status of mother and PLBW of the newborns. Periodontitis is a destructive inflammatory disease of the supporting tissues of the teeth and is caused by specific micro-organisms or a group of specific micro-organisms, resulting in progressive destruction of the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone with periodontal pocket formation, gingival recession or both. [4] Although no definitive causal relationship has been established between periodontitis and PLBW, the endotoxins resulting from Gram-negative bacterial infections such as periodontal disease stimulate the production of cytokines and prostaglandins (interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factors-alpha), which in appropriate quantities can stimulate labor. [3]

Hence periodontal disease appears to be an independent risk factor for PLBW; more research in this regard is definitely the need of the hour to confirm the association between the maternal poor periodontal status and PLBW among their newborns. Nevertheless there is a need to expand the preventive measures for pregnant women in co-ordination with the gynecological and dental professionals. Oral health guidelines for pregnant women assist them in maintaining healthy teeth and gums during their pregnancy. Providing compulsory and professional oral hygiene measurements along with other dietary and drug supplements during pregnancy might reduce the incidence of PLBW babies in developing countries like India.

   References Top

1.Choudhary AK, Choudhary A, Tiwari SC, Dwivedi R. Factors associated with low birth weight among newborns in an urban slum community in Bhopal. Indian J Public Health 2013;57:20-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.Saini R, Saini S, Saini SR. Periodontitis: A risk for delivery of premature labor and low birth weight infants. J Nat Sci Biol Med 2011;2:50-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Jeffcoat MK, Geurs NC, Reddy MS, Cliver SP, Goldenberg RL, Hauth JC. Periodontal infection and preterm birth: Results of a prospective study. J Am Dent Assoc 2001;132:875-80.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Saini R, Marawar PP, Shete S, Saini S. Periodontitis, a true infection. J Glob Infect Dis 2009;1:149-50.  Back to cited text no. 4


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