Objective: The correlation between periodontal status and
systemic conditions, among them pregnancy, is widely
described in the scientific literature. The aim of the present
systematic review of the literature was to evaluate periodontal
diseases as an independent risk factor for adverse pregnancy
outcomes. Data: Case-control studies reporting pregnancy
outcomes and periodontal status of the subjects were included.
Risk of bias evaluation was performed using a tool developed
by the Cochrane Bias Methods Group. After risk of bias
evaluation of included studies, a meta-analysis was performed
computing the Risk Ratio (RR) for each pregnancy outcome.
Sources: Electronic databases (MedLine, Embase, Cochrane
Central) were searched after preparation of an appropriate search string. Study selection: The search resulted in 422
entries that were screened. After application of inclusion and
exclusion criteria, a total of 22 studies were included in the
review accounting for a total of 17,053 subjects. The computed
RR for periodontitis was 1.61 for preterm birth evaluated in 16
studies (P < .001), 1.65 for low birthweight evaluated in 10
studies (P < .001), and 3.44 for preterm low birthweight evaluated
in four studies. Conclusion: The present systematic
review reported a low but existing association between periodontitis
and adverse pregnancy outcomes. This assumption is
the result of proper corrections of biased methodologies and
of heterogeneity of studies.