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J Am Dent Assoc. 2001 Jul;132(7):1009-16.

Oral health during pregnancy: an analysis of information collected by the pregnancy risk assessment monitoring system.

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  • 1Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



Little is known about the use of dental services during pregnancy. Yet research suggests that a pregnant woman's oral health and her pregnancy outcome may be associated.


Four states collected oral health data a part of the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, or PRAMS, in 1998. PRAMS is an ongoing, population-based survey designed to obtain information from mothers who recently delivered live-born infants about their experiences and behaviors before, during and immediately after pregnancy.


Reports of dental care use during pregnancy ranged from 22.7 to 34.7 percent. In three states, 12.2 percent to 25.4 percent of respondents reported having a dental problem and of these, 44.7 percent to 54.9 percent went for care. Among mothers reporting a dental problem, prenatal care, or PNC, insurance through public funding and late PNC entry were significantly associated with their not getting dental care.


Most mothers did not go for dental care during their pregnancy; among those who reported having problems, one-half did not get dental care.


Attention toward the oral health needs of pregnant women is warranted. A coordinated effort from the dental and obstetric communities to establish guidelines could benefit maternal oral health and perinatal outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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