Document Type


Publication Date



School of Dentistry


Dental Practice & Rural Health


Introduction. Appalachia West Virginia has a higher prevalence of preterm and low birthweight babies than the US national prevalence. Many factors have been studied which are known to infuence preterm births and low birthweight babies. Tere are limited interventions that are available to decrease the likelihood of preterm and low birthweight babies; however oral health and personal oral infection control may be helpful. Te purpose of this study was to evaluate the association of limited personal oral infection control among pregnant West Virginia Appalachian women and poor birth outcomes (preterm and low birthweight babies). Methods. A secondary data analysis of data from the West Virginia Healthy Start Helping Appalachian Parents and Infants (HAPI) Project from 2005 to 2016 was conducted.Te researchers determined the odds ratio of personal oral infection control with a powered toothbrush (use of the brush fewer than 13 times per week versus use of the brush 13 or more times per week) on poor birth outcomes. Results. Tere were 845 women who completed the oral health program within the HAPI project. In unadjusted logistic regression, women who used the powered toothbrush and brushed less frequently had greater odds of poor birth outcomes than women who brushed more frequently (odds ratio of 2.07 [1.18, 3.62] P = 0.011 for low birthweight babies; and an odds ratio of 1.78 [1.04, 3.02] P = 0.034 for preterm birth). Te results remained positive but were no longer signifcant in adjusted analysis. Conclusion. Tere is a need to identify interventions that will beneft pregnant women so that their pregnancies result in healthy pregnancy outcomes.

Source Citation

Wiener RC, Waters C. Personal Oral Infection Control, Low Birthweight, and Preterm Births in Appalachia West Virginia: A Cross-Sectional Study. Advances in Preventive Medicine. 2018;2018:1-6. doi:10.1155/2018/9618507