- During pregnancy, women may be more prone to gum disease and cavities.1
- Pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease that occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation that may be aggravated by changing hormones during pregnancy.2
- 1 in 4 women of childbearing age have untreated cavities.3, 4
- A mother’s oral health status is a strong predictor of her child’s oral health status.5
- Children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss are more than 3 times as likely to have cavities.6
- Children with poor oral health status are nearly 3 times more likely to miss school because of dental pain.7
- Regular and emergency dental care is safe at any stage of pregnancy.8
- Women are encouraged to seek routine dental care during pregnancy.8
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- Wu M, Chen S, Jiang S. Relationship between gingival inflammation and pregnancy. Mediators Inflamm. 2015;2015:623427.
- Niessen LC. Women’s Health. In: Patton LL, Glick M, editors. The ADA Practical Guide to Patients with Medical Conditions. Second ed. Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons; 2016. p. 423-34.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Table 28. Untreated Dental Caries, by Selected Characteristics: Selected Years 1988–1994 and 2013–2016. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2018/028.pdf pdf icon[PDF-119KB]. Accessed July 7, 2020.
- Dye BA, Thornton-Evans G, Li X, Iafolla TJ. Dental Caries and Tooth Loss in Adults in the United States, 2011–2012. NCHS Data Brief 197. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2015.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db197.pdf pdf icon[PDF-608KB]. Accessed July 8, 2020.
- Xiao J, Alkhers N, Kopycka-Kedzierawski DT, et al. Prenatal oral health care and early childhood caries prevention: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Caries Res. 2019;53:411–421.
- Dye BA, Vargas CM, Lee JJ, Magder L, Tinanoff N. Assessing the relationship between children’s oral health status and that of their mothers. J Am Dent Assoc. 2011;142(2):173–183. doi:10.14219/jada.archive.2011.0061.
- Jackson SL, Vann WF, Kotch JB, Pahel BT, Lee JY. Impact of poor oral health on children’s school attendance and performance. Am J Public Health. 2011;101:1900–1906.
- Oral Health Care During Pregnancy Expert Workgroup. Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center; 2012.
Page last reviewed: November 8, 2020