Oral Health During Pregnancy
This collection of selected resources offers high-quality information about pregnancy and oral health. Use the tools below for further searching, or contact us for personalized assistance.
Oral health is essential to overall health in the prenatal period. 1
Oral health care during pregnancy is a shared responsibility among prenatal care health professionals, oral health professionals, and pregnant women. 2
Efforts to inform health professionals about the connection between oral health and overall health during pregnancy should focus on effectively disseminating strategies that translate evidence-based guidelines into clinical practice, with the ultimate goal of improving oral-systemic health among women and children. 3
Dentists who are knowledgeable about periodontal disease are more likely to counsel their patients who are pregnant about periodontal health. Future interventions should focus on improving the oral health knowledge of dentists and other health professionals about the importance of comprehensive oral health care, including periodontal treatment when needed, for all pregnant women. 4
For many women, treatment of oral disease during pregnancy is particularly important because dental insurance may only be available to them during pregnancy or up to 2 months postpartum. 1
Prenatal visits can be used as an opportunity to encourage pregnant women to seek preventive oral health care during pregnancy. 5
There is no indication that preventive or restorative oral health treatment during any trimester of pregnancy can harm the mother or the developing fetus. Despite this, routine oral health care is often avoided or postponed for the duration of pregnancy. 2
Women need accurate information about the importance of practicing good oral health habits throughout their lives as well as about the importance and safety of receiving oral health care during pregnancy. 6
Intensive oral hygiene regimens decrease the incidence of gingivitis among pregnant women. 7
Pregnant women with low incomes and those who are Hispanic have higher rates of tooth decay than those with higher incomes and those who are white, respectively. 8
- Kloetzel MK, H, Huebner CE, Milgrom P. 2011. Referrals for dental care during pregnancy. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. 56(2):110–117.
- Rainchuso L. 2013. Improving oral health outcomes from pregnancy through infancy. Journal of Dental Hygiene 87(6):330–335.
- Vamos CA, Walsh ML, Thompson E, Daley EM, Detman L, DeBate R. 2015. Oral-systemic health during pregnancy: Exploring prenatal and oral health providers’ information, motivation and behavioral skills. Maternal and Child Health Journal 19(6):1263–1275.
- Chi DL, Milgrom P, Carle AC, Huebner CE, Mancl LA. 2014. Multilevel factors associated with dentists' counseling of pregnant women about periodontal health. Special Care Dentistry 34(1):2–6.
- Azofeifa A, Yeung LF, Alverson CJ, Beltrán-Aguilar E. 2014. Oral health conditions and dental visits among pregnant and nonpregnant women of childbearing age in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004. Preventing Chronic Disease 11:E163.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Women’s Health Care Physicians; Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women. 2013. Committee opinion No. 569: Oral health care during pregnancy and through the lifespan. Obstetrics and Gynecology 122(2 Pt 1):417–422.
- Geisinger ML, Geurs NC, Bain JL, Kaur M, Vassilopoulos PJ, Cliver SP, Hauth JC, Reddy MS. 2014. Oral health education and therapy reduces gingivitis during pregnancy. Journal of Clinical Periodontology 41(2):141–148.
- Chung LH, Gregorich, SE, Armitage GC, Gonzalez-Vargas J, Adams SH. 2014. Sociodemographic disparities and behavioral factors in clinical oral health status during pregnancy. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 42(2):151–159.
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