Importance of Dental Health During Pregnancy
Oral health is known to be a significant contributor to general health. Periodontal (gum) disease has been previously shown to affect other systems in the human body. Pregnancy brings about a greater importance on ensuring good oral health, as the individual is caring for the general health of multiple people. Mothers must take care to practice good dental care habits in order to provide the safest possible environment for their child.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently released a Committee Opinion report on “Oral Health Care During Pregnancy and Through the Lifespan“. This report details the divide between expectant mothers and dental office visits. There are numerous factors at play, socioeconomic among them, but the key takeaway is the realization of the role dental health plays in the general health of a child.
The report states that:
In 2007–2009, 35% of U.S. women reported that they did not have a dental visit within the past year and 56% of women did not visit a dentist during pregnancy. Access to dental care is directly related to income level; the poorest women are least likely to have received dental care. Optimal maternal oral hygiene during the perinatal period may decrease the amount of caries-producing oral bacteria transmitted to the infant during common parenting behavior, such as sharing spoons.
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