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Help your pregnant patients minimise their oral health risks

News

04 Apr 2020

Although the physiological changes experienced during pregnancy increase the risk for certain oral pathologies, dental practitioners can help pregnant women prevent them and maintain good oral health. 

Presenting oral health disorders during pregnancy is common due to hormonal and physiological changes(1). The most common problems are gingivitis (with a prevalence of 60-75%(2)) and periodontitis (present in 25% of pregnant women)(3)

Good oral hygiene does not only help prevent gingivitis but also prevents it from progressing to become periodontitis. And periodontitis has been proven to be associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm delivery or low birth weight(4)

ORAL HYGIENE DURING PREGNANCY 

Midwives can promote proper oral hygiene among pregnant women with a series of recommendations that can also be provided at the dental clinic: 

• Brush your teeth at least twice a day or after every meal. 

• Use specific products for the prevention and aid in the treatment of inflammation and bleeding of the gums due to gingivitis: 

- Use a brush with soft filaments and a flat filament surface contour, to avoid damaging the gums, and featuring a small head to minimise gagging while brushing. 

- Use toothpastes and mouthwashes containing a safe and effective antiseptic for daily use during pregnancy, such as cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC). 

• Remember the importance of cleaning the spaces between the teeth using interproximal brushes, dental floss or tapes and/or oral irrigators. 

• Go to the dentist prior to pregnancy to receive professional cleaning and to establish guidelines for the control and monitoring of the oral cavity, particularly of the gums, in each trimester of pregnancy. If there are periodontal problems, the best time to receive periodontal treatment is during the second trimester. 

Bibliography

  1. Amar S, Chung KM. Influence of hormonal variation on the periodontium in women. Periodontol 2000 1994; 6: 79-87. 
  2. American Dental Association Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations. Women's oral health issues. American Dental Association, 2006. 
  3. Encuesta de Salud Oral en España 2005. RCOE 2006; 11 (4): 409-456. 
  4. Águeda A, Ramón JM, Manau C, Guerrera A, Echeverría JJ. Periodontal disease as a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes: a prospective cohort study. J Clin Periodontol 2008 Jan; 35 (1): 16-22. 

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