Periodontal disease in pregnancy complicated by type 1 diabetes mellitus

J. M. Guthmiller, J. R. Hassebroek-Johnson, D. R. Weenig, G. K. Johnson, H. L. Kirchner, F. J. Kohout, S. K. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Systemic disease and hormonal changes have been implicated as complicating factors for periodontal disease. Diabetes has been identified as a risk factor for periodontal disease, and diabetics can experience periodontal destruction at an earlier age than non-diabetic individuals. Increased hormone levels during pregnancy can contribute to increased gingival inflammation. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) on the periodontal status of pregnant women. Methods: Thirty-three (13 diabetic and 20 non-diabetic) subjects, 20 to 39 weeks gestation, participated in this study. The mean age of the diabetics and non-diabetics was 28.5 ± 7.1 (SD) and 27.0 ± 7.3 years, respectively. The following parameters were assessed at Ramfjord's reference teeth: plaque index (PI), gingival inflammation (GI), probing depth (PD), gingival margin (GM) location, and clinical attachment level (CAL). Results: Diabetic subjects had significantly (P <0.001) higher PI (1.48 ± 0.69) and GI (1.77 ± 0.44) scores than non-diabetics (PI = 0.63 ± 0.38; GI = 0.93 ± 0.48). Mean PD for diabetics (2.95 ± 0.69 mm) was significantly different (P <0.024) from that of non-diabetics (2.44 ± 0.32 mm). Although mean GM location was coronal to the cemento-enamel junction (CEJ) in both groups, gingival margins were at a more apical position (P <0.001) in the diabetics (-0.20 ± 1.24 mm) compared to non-diabetics (-1.76 ± 0.53 mm). Mean CAL values also varied significantly (P <0.001) between diabetics (2.60 ± 1.54 mm) and non-diabetics (0.68 ± 0.65 mm). Significant differences were seen for GI (P <0.001), PD (P = 0.005), GM location (P <0.001), and CAL (P <0.001) when assessing the effect of diabetes and controlling for plaque. When assessing the effect of plaque and controlling for diabetes, the only significant difference was GI (P = 0.001). Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that periodontal inflammation and destruction are increased in pregnant diabetics as compared to non-diabetic pregnant patients. These findings may have implications for diabetic control and, hence, maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnant diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1485-1490
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Insulin-dependent
  • Periodontal diseases/epidemiology
  • Pregnancy in diabetes
  • Pregnancy/complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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