Prenatal Dental Care: Why it is Important

Good oral health during pregnancy is necessary for the health of both the mother and the baby. Dental care during pregnancy is safe, effective, and recommended. A link has been identified between early childhood cavities and maternal transmission of bacteria to the fetus.

Untreated dental disease can lead to pain, infections, and unnecessary exposure to medications, any of which might be harmful to the developing fetus. Poor oral health can also affect the nutritional uptake of the expectant mother thus the ability of the mother to provide nutrients that are necessary for fetal growth and development.

Poor oral health has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Some studies suggest an association between maternal periodontal disease and preterm birth. Also, evidence indicates that a child can acquire biofilm (plaque) from the mother and poor oral health may be a potential risk for early childhood cavities.

Read the entire peer reviewed study on Prenatal Dental Care (pdf)
The linked article originally appeared in the May/June 2010 issue of General Dentistry. Published with permission by the Academy of General Dentistry. ©2010 by the Academy of General Dentistry. All rights reserved.