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To test whether treating periodontal disease (PD) in pregnancy will reduce the incidence of preterm birth.
A multicenter, randomized, blinded clinical trial was performed. Pregnant subjects at less than 20 weeks were screened for PD by trained research nurses and hygienists. Subjects with PD were offered enrollment, and randomized to scaling and root planning (active) or tooth polishing (control), both of which were performed by dental hygienists. The primary outcome was the occurrence of PTD at less than 35 weeks. The data was analyzed using an intent-to-treat approach.
5085 pregnant women were screened for initial eligibility, of which 3563 were screened for PD. The prevalence of PD in those screened was 50%. 757 subjects were randomized, 378 to active and 379 to placebo.
Screening and treating periodontal disease in pregnancy does not reduce the incidence of preterm birth or its complications, and may increase the risk of indicated PTD.