Obesity is related to maternal periodontitis severity in pregnancy: a cross-sectional study

Valeria Ramírez, Laura Weber, Marcela Hernández, Ornella Realini, María José Bendek, Dolores Busso, Anilei Hoare, Sebastián Enrique Illanes, Alejandra Chaparro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between obesity and periodontitis staging compared with periodontal healthy or gingivitis in pregnant women. Materials and methods: An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted on pregnant women between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. Sociodemographic, clinical, obstetric, and periodontal variables were studied. The exposure variable was obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 30), and the primary outcome was periodontitis staging versus periodontal healthy/gingivitis. Data were analysed and estimated by multinomial logistic regression models. Results: The present study screened 1086 pregnancies and analysed 972 women with a median age of 29 years; 36.8% were diagnosed as obese. 26.9% of patients were diagnosed as periodontal healthy or gingivitis, 5.5% with stage I periodontitis, 38.6% with stage II periodontitis, 24% with stage III periodontitis, and 5.1% with stage IV periodontitis. After identifying and adjusting for confounding variables (educational level and plaque index), obesity had a relative risk ratio (RRR) of 1.66 (95% CI: 1.05–2.64; p = 0.03) and 1.57 (95% CI: 1.09–2.27; p = 0.015) for stage III periodontitis compared to periodontal healthy/gingivitis and stage II periodontitis, respectively. Conclusion: Besides the already known risk indicators for periodontitis (age, smoking, and educational level), our study suggests a relationship between obesity and periodontitis staging in pregnancy. Clinical relevance: Obesity can alter host immune responses, leading to increased susceptibility to infections and overactive host immunity, which could influence the prevalence and severity of maternal periodontitis in pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5509-5518
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number9
StatePublished - 28 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Body mass index
  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Obesity
  • Periodontitis
  • Pregnancy


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