Effect of antenatal treatment of maternal periodontitis on early childhood neurodevelopment

Kathleen Matula, Rajam Ramamurthy, Carl Bose, Ricki Goldstein, David Couper, Myriam Peralta-Carcelen, Dawn Stewart, Kathryn E. Gustafson, Steven Offenbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if antenatal treatment of maternal periodontitis affects early childhood neurodevelopment. Study Design: We evaluated neurodevelopment of 331 24-month-old children born to women who participated in a randomized trial of antenatal (167) or postpartum (164) treatment of periodontitis. Children within groups defined by maternal treatment were designated as high risk for abnormal neurodevelopment (n=96; birth at ≤346/7 weeks' gestation or small for gestational age following birth at term) or low risk (n=235; appropriate birth weight and ≥37 weeks' gestation). We measured neurodevelopment using the Bayley Scale of Infant and Toddler Development III (BSID III) and neurological examination. Treatment effect was analyzed using a chi-square or Fisher exact test. Between-group mean scores were compared using Student t test. Results: There were no differences in the incidence of neuromotor or sensory (visual or hearing) impairment or scores on the BSID III between groups. Low-risk children in the antenatal treatment group had higher language scores than those in the postpartum treatment group (92.9 versus 89.2; p=0.05). Conclusion: Antenatal treatment of maternal periodontitis does not appear to affect neurodevelopment at 24 months of age. The slight improvement in language development in low-risk children may be an artifact or not clinically relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2012


  • neurodevelopment
  • neuromotor impairment
  • periodontitis
  • sensory impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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