*Prof. Taiyeb Ali TB1, Dr. Zainol Abidin K2, Othman A1, Abdul Rahim NA1

  1. Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. Dental Division Ipoh, Perak, Ministry of Health, Malaysia


Mean plaque index (PI) has been shown to be associated as a risk factor of preterm low birth weight (PTLBW) babies.  Aim:To  determine if plaque reduction by adjunctive use of an essential oil mouthrinse in pregnant women after scaling will reduce the incidence of PTLBW babies. Methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was undertaken (Ethics  Approval from Ministry of Health and Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Malaysia was obtained) .Pregnant women (103), at about 8 weeks gestation attending ante-natal clinics were interviewed and examined for their periodontal status and were then alternately put into test and control groups.  For both groups, periodontal therapy consisting of oral hygiene education and scaling was provided.  A mouthrinse, Listerine® to be used twice a day until delivery, was given to expectant mothers of the test group. Controlsubjects did not receive any mouthrinse.A second periodontal examination was performed between 28 and 30 gestational weeks for both groups. Pregnancy outcome data (gestational age at delivery, birth weight of the delivered baby and delivery complications) were collected after the delivery. Results: Excluding dropouts, 44 tests and 43 controls were included in the final analysis. There was lower incidence of PTLBW in the rinse group (16.7%) as compared to controls (22.0%) although this was not statistically significant(p<0.05). The Odds Ratio was 0.71 (CI: 0.24, 2.13) favouring the rinse group. Conclusions:An essential oil mouthrinse adjunct therapy for pregnant mothers reduced the incidence of PTLBW, although not significantly in this group of subjects.

Keywords: dental biofilm; babies, preterm; low birth weight; adjunctive mouthrinse.