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Matern Child Health J. 2011 Aug;15(6):722-9. doi: 10.1007/s10995-010-0643-2.

Racial/ethnic disparities in maternal oral health experiences in 10 states, pregnancy risk assessment monitoring system, 2004-2006.

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  • 1Division of Newborn Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Avenue, Enders 961, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


To describe and assess racial/ethnic differences in maternal oral health experiences during their most recent pregnancy. We analyzed 2004-06 data from the CDC Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), a population-based surveillance system that collects data on pregnancy and postpartum experiences of mothers who have recently delivered a live infant. Ten states included in the analysis had a ≥70% weighted response rate and three standard questions pertaining to oral health. A total of 35,267 white non-Hispanic (WNH), black non-Hispanic (BNH) and Hispanic women were included in the analysis. We used weighted percentages/standard errors and multivariate logistic regression, controlling for selected descriptive characteristics. Only 41% of all women received oral health counseling during pregnancy. In the multivariate analyses, compared to WNH women, BNH women were more likely to have a dental problem (OR 1.19, CI 1.05-1.35). BNH and Hispanic women were less likely to obtain dental care during pregnancy (OR 0.87, CI 0.77-0.98; OR 0.77, CI 0.64-0.91 respectively) and were less likely to ever have had a teeth cleaning (OR 0.64, CI 0.52-0.78; 0.36, OR CI 0.29-0.46 respectively) when compared to WNH women. In addition, BNH and Hispanic women were less likely to have a teeth cleaning before (OR 0.82, CI 0.72-0.94; OR 0.60, CI 0.50-0.72 respectively) as well as during pregnancy (OR 0.68, CI 0.59-0.78; OR 0.74, CI 0.61-0.90) when compared to WNH women. Significant racial/ethnic disparities in maternal oral health experiences exist. Most women are not offered dental counseling during pregnancy.

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