Birth weight and pregnancy complications associated with the enamel defects

Today at the 93rd General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, researcher Bertha A. Chavez Gonzalez, Universidade de Minas Gerias, Lima, San Borja, Peru, will present a study titled “Birth Weight and Pregnancy Complications Associated With the Enamel Defects.” The IADR General Session is being held in conjunction with the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research and the 39th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research.

This cross-sectional representative study aimed to assess the association between birth weight and severity of defects development of enamel (DDE) in the primary dentition. The sample was comprised 1,309 children five years of age, enrolled in kindergarten in the city of Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil. The children were examined at school for the diagnosis of DDE. The mothers answered a questionnaire containing information of complications during pregnancy. The response variable was dichotomized in greater and lesser gravity of developmental defects of enamel, depending on the location of the DDE, when in the previous sector was considered minor and when he was in the posterior region or both, greater severity. The covariates were child gender, birth weight, prematurity, age of the mother during pregnancy and complications during pregnancy.

The prevalence of DDE with greater and minor severity was 22.7% and 77.3% respectively. The Poisson regression analysis of the adjusted model showed a greater prevalence of DDE among children with low birth weight. The researchers conclude that low birth weight and hypertension during pregnancy can be considered risk factors for the severity of DDE.

This research is supported by the following agencies located in Brazil: Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais, Fundacao Capes Ministério da Educacao and Ministerio da Ciencia, Tecnologia e Inovacao.

What is low birthweight?

Low birthweight is a term used to describe babies who are born weighing less than 2,500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces). The weight of an average newborn is usually around 8 pounds. Over 8 percent of all newborn babies in the United States have low birthweight, and the number is rising.

Babies with low birthweight look much smaller than other babies of normal birthweight. A low birthweight baby’s head may look bigger than the rest of his or her body. He or she often looks thin with little body fat.

Birth weight and pregnancy complications associated with the enamel defects This is a summary of abstract #3128 titled “Birth Weight and Pregnancy Complications Associated With the Enamel Defects,” to be presented by Bertha A. Chavez Gonzalez on Friday, March 13, 2015, from 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. in Hall C of the Hynes Convention Center.


What causes low birthweight?

Low birthweight is mostly caused by premature birth (being born before 37 weeks). Being born early means a baby has less time in the mother’s uterus to grow and gain weight. Much of a baby’s weight is gained during the last weeks of pregnancy.

Another cause of low birthweight is a condition called intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). This occurs when a baby does not grow well during pregnancy because of problems with the placenta, the mother’s health, or the baby’s health. A baby can have IUGR and be born at full term (37 to 41 weeks). Babies with IUGR born at term may be physically mature but may be weak. Premature babies that have IUGR are both very small and physically immature.

There are other things that can also raise the risk of very low birthweight. These include:

  Multiple birth. Multiple birth babies are at increased risk for low birthweight because they often are premature. Over half of twins and other multiples have low birthweight. This is the most common reason for babies to be born with low birthweight.

  Race. African-American babies are more likely to have a low birthweight than white babies.

  Age. Teen mothers (especially those younger than 15 years old) have a much higher risk of having a baby with low birthweight.

  Mother’s health. Babies born to mothers who use street drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are more likely to have low birthweight. Mothers who are considered “low income” are less likely to have good nutrition during pregnancy, less likely to get prenatal care, and more likely to have pregnancy complications. Each of these things can cause low birthweight.

About the International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with nearly 11,000 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide, (2) supporting and representing the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings. To learn more, visit The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is the largest Division of IADR, with nearly 3,400 members in the United States.


Ingrid L. Thomas
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International & American Associations for Dental Research

  93rd General Session & Exhibition of the IADR

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