Oral Health of the Pregnant Patient

Topics: Pregnancy, Oral hygiene, Dentistry Pages: 3 (790 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Oral health care during pregnancy is often avoided and misunderstood by patients and clinicians. It is very important to the mom to be to get regular checkups throughout the pregnancy. Many oral manifestations can occur at anytime, such as gingivitis, pregnancy tumors and Periodontitis. Periodontitis is associated with preterm birth and low birth weight, cariogenic bacteria in mothers can also lead to increased caries in the infant. Every pregnant should be examined for possible oral health risks, educated on proper oral hygiene and take any necessary action on any problems that have occurred. During the second trimester it is safe to provide restorative treatment, take xrays, and provide periodontal treatment. As clinicians, it is our responsibly to effective identify and diagnose problems before they become serious and hazardous to the patients health.

Only 22 to 34 percent of women in the United States see a dentist during pregnancy. When an oral health problem does occur, only one half of pregnant women attend to it. Women may be more motivated to make healthy changes to their life style during pregnancy. This is the perfect time for clinicians to encourage healthy dental care. In order to start with those healthy changes, Clinicians must understand oral manifestations that can occur throughout pregnancy so we can well address the issue and educate our patients. Common Oral Problems

The most common oral disease in pregnancy is gingivitis. About “one half of women with preexisting gingivitis have significant exacerbation during pregnancy”(Silk et al., 2008). Gingivitis in pregnancy is caused by fluctuations of estrogen, progesterone levels, oral flora and a decreased immune response. To manage gingivitis, thorough oral hygiene measures are taken including tooth brushing and flossing. Patients with severe gingivitis may need professional cleaning and a prescription mouth rinses such as chlorhexidine may be prescribed. Periodontal...

References: Silk, H., Douglass, A., Douglass, J., & Silk, L. (2008). Oral Health During Pregnancy. American Family Physician, 77(8), 7. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from the EBSCO Host database.
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