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EDITORIAL
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 111

What to expect when expecting: Oral health care during pregnancy


Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Annasaheb Chudaman Patil Memorial Dental College, Dhule, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication4-Dec-2013

Correspondence Address:
Ujwala A Brahmankar
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Annasaheb Chudaman Patil Memorial Dental College, Dhule - 424 003, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2155-8213.122669

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How to cite this article:
Brahmankar UA. What to expect when expecting: Oral health care during pregnancy. Dent Hypotheses 2013;4:111

How to cite this URL:
Brahmankar UA. What to expect when expecting: Oral health care during pregnancy. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Aug 23];4:111. Available from: http://www.dentalhypotheses.com/text.asp?2013/4/4/111/122669

Pregnancy is a unique period in a woman's lifetime. It is a life-changing event and a particularly important time to access oral healthcare because the consequences of poor oral health may have a lifelong impact. A recent US survey, however, showed that most women did not visit the dentist during pregnancy; half of women who reported oral problems did not seek care because they believed poor oral health during pregnancy was normal or they feared dental treatments could harm the fetus. [1] Also, 49% of obstetricians rarely or never recommend a dental examination; [2] only 10% of dentists perform all necessary treatments; and 14% of dentists are against using local anesthetics during pregnancy. [3],[4] This is concerning, as poor oral health can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preeclampsia, [5],[6] preterm birth, [7] and low birth weight babies. [8] Ideally, during prenatal testing, the pregnant woman should be referred to a dentist. Unfortunately, up to now, there have been no such official guidelines in any country. [9] Maintaining the expectant mothers' oral health is important both for her own health and for that of the fetus.

It is vital that health professionals (physicians and dentists) collaborate to ensure pregnant women receive proper oral assessment and intervention as well as oral health education. They should also work together to develop comprehensive prenatal testing protocols, including complete treatment plans, which aim to prevent any problems and restore the pregnant woman's oral health. These protocols should also aim to inform the pregnant woman appropriately so that she will be able to look after the newborn baby's oral health. [10] In conclusion, a pregnant woman should receive adequate information from her obstetrician so as to visit the dentist early in her pregnancy.

 
  References Top

1.Ressler-Maerlender J, Krishna R, Robison V. Oral health during pregnancy: Current research. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2005;14:880-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Wilder R, Robinson C, Jared HL, Lieff S, Boggess K. Obstetricians' knowledge and practice behaviors concerning periodontal health and preterm delivery and low birth weight. J Dent Hyg 2007;81:81.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Michalowicz BS, DiAngelis AJ, Novak MJ, Buchanan W, Papapanou PN, Mitchell DA, et al. Examining the safety of dental treatment in pregnant women. J Am Dent Assoc 2008;139:685-95.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Pistorius J, Kraft J, Willershausen B. Dental treatment concepts for pregnant patients - results of a survey. Eur J Med Res 2003;8:241-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Siqueira FM, Cota LO, Costa JE, Haddad JP, Lana AM, Costa FO. Maternal periodontitis as a potential risk variable for preeclampsia: A case-control study. J Periodontol 2008;79:207-15.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Conde-Agudelo A, Villar J, Lindheimer M. Maternal infection and risk of preeclampsia: Systematic review and metaanalysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2008;198:7-22.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Tarannum F, Faizuddin M. Effect of periodontal therapy on pregnancy outcome in women affected by periodontitis. J Periodontol 2007;78:2095-103.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Xiong X, Buekens P, Fraser WD, Beck J, Offenbacher S. Periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes: A systematic review. BJOG 2006;113:135-43.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Achtari MD, Georgakopoulou EA, Afentoulide N. Dental care throughout pregnancy: What a dentist must know. Oral Health Dent Manag 2012;11:169-76.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Amini H, Casimassimo PS. Prenatal dental care: A review. Gen Dent 2010;58:176-80.  Back to cited text no. 10
    

 
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Dr. Ujwala A. Brahmankar




 

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