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Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2008 - Volume 111 - Issue 4 > Maternal Oral Health in Pregnancy
Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31816a49d3
Clinical Expert Series

Maternal Oral Health in Pregnancy

Boggess, Kim A. MD; for the Society for Maternal–Fetal Medicine Publications Committee

Supplemental Author Material
Continued Medical Education
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Abstract

Oral diseases are prevalent conditions; dental caries is the most common chronic childhood disease, and adult periodontal infection affects up to 40% of reproductive-aged women. Childhood caries is a preventable infectious disease, and maternal oral flora is one of the greatest predictors of the oral flora of her offspring. Periodontal infection is also preventable and has received recent attention as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infection. Periodontal infection has also been associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. Effective preventive and treatment measures to reduce the morbidity of oral diseases exist, yet both caries and periodontal infection remain prevalent, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities and disadvantaged individuals. Given the evident relationships between oral and general health and between maternal and infant oral health, oral health care should be a goal for all individuals. Pregnancy offers an opportunity to educate women regarding oral health and treat them where appropriate. Research is ongoing to delineate the role of maternal oral health care in pregnancy outcomes and opportunities for positive intervention.

© 2008 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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