In 2012, “Oral Health Care during Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement—Summary of an Expert Workgroup Meeting” contained a consensus statement, resources for health professionals, and other materials.1 This article reviews the June 2015 update to that document.2
In 2013, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) funded projects “to reduce the prevalence of oral disease in pregnant women and infants through improved access to quality oral health care,” as stated in the Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement Initiative (PIOHQI).3
The first phase of the PIOHQI supports projects in Connecticut, New York, and West Virginia. Other states coordinating efforts to improve the oral health of women and infants are California, Missouri, and North Carolina.4,5,6 Massachusetts has a comprehensive document, “2014 Perinatal Care Recommendations.”7 DentaQuest has a handout in English and Spanish titled, “Oral Health during Pregnancy,”8 containing blogs, tip sheets, and videos.
One study evaluated the knowledge of the risk of being obese, management of that risk, weight misperception, and diet and attitudes among women planning on becoming pregnant, as compared to those not intending to become pregnant.9 The conclusion was that women need more counseling in regard to these risks to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
A new Delta Dental survey found that 42.5% of expecting women in United States do not visit the dental office.10 Delta Dental advises pregnant women to visit the dental office, and suggests questions that might need to be asked of the oral care professional.
In other news, the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative hosted a webinar “Women and Tobacco: Why Gender Matters,”and includedinformation on tobacco use and pregnancy.11
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
There are considerations regarding pharmaceuticals and pregnant women. In the past, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used a letter classification for safety of drug use in pregnant women. Most physicians did not find this classification useful. The FDA proposed a rule that will replace these letter categories with more robust and informative data (see above).
Within the subsections, drug manufacturers must include a summary of the risks of using a drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding, a discussion of the data supporting the summary and relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing and counseling decisions, according to the FDA.12
The final rule from the FDA that sets these new standards for information regarding risks and benefits for drugs and biological products used during pregnancy and breastfeeding went into effect on June 30.
Click here to view a helpful chart regarding pharmacology and pregnant women.13
And last, but not least, a dental hygienist or dentist may themselves be pregnant. On May 29, 2015, the California Dental Association posted, “What to expect when your employee is expecting.”14 It discusses: pregnancy discrimination; wearing a dosimeter; pregnancy leave; the risks and apprehension regarding exposures to nitrous oxide, mercury, radiation, and other chemicals; and much more.
As you can see, there are numerous resources available to assist you if you are expecting, as well as during the treatment of your pregnant patients!
- National Maternal and Child Health Resource Center. 2015. Promoting Oral Health During Pregnancy. Update on Activities-June 2015. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Health Resource Center. http://mchoralhealth.org/materials/consensus_statement.html.
- Berenson AB, Pohlmeier AM, Laz TH, et al. Obesity Risk Knowledge, Weight Misperception, and Diet and Health-Related Attitudes among Women Intending to Become Pregnant. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Available online 20 June 2015. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212267215005341.
- Delta Dental Plans Association. http://www.news-medical.net/news/20150616/New-Delta-Dental-survey-finds-that-42525-of-expecting-moms-in-US-skip-a-trip-to-dentist.aspx