Dentistry During Pregnacy
The prenatal period is a gestation of approximately nine months, beginning with the period of ovum that lasts for about two weeks and is marked by blast cyst getting attached to the wall of the uterus. This is followed by the period of embryo lasting for about next six weeks and is characterized by development of the organ systems.The delivery of the child is the time when maturation of the newly formed organs takes place.
The role of pediatric dentist starts at pre natal stage in guiding the expecting parents to maintain oral health as the mouth is an obvious portal of entry to the body, and oral health reflects and influences general health and well being.
Maternal oral health has significant implications for birth outcomes and infant oral health.
Maternal periodontal disease, that is, a chronic infection of the gingiva and supporting tooth structures, has been associated with preterm birth, development of preeclampsia, and delivery of a small-for-gestational age infant.
Prematurely born children have higher prevalence of enamel defects.
In very low birth-weight children, the prevalence of enamel defects could be even higher.
Both systemic and local factors contribute to the etiology of dental defects. Low birth-weight children are often intubated at birth, and left-sided defects on maxillary anterior teeth occurred twice as frequently as right-sided defects, probably the result of trauma from left sided laryngoscopy.
Maternal oral flora is transmitted to the newborn infant, and increased cariogenic flora in the mother predisposes the infant to the development of caries.
It is intriguing to consider preconception, pregnancy, or intrapartum treatment of oral health conditions as a mechanism to improve women's oral and general health, pregnancy outcomes, and their children's dental health.
However, given the relationship between oral health and general health, oral health care should be a goal in its own right for all individuals. Regardless of the potential for improved oral health to improve pregnancy outcomes, public policies that support comprehensive dental services for vulnerable women of childbearing age are already expanded so that their own oral and general health is safeguarded and their children's risk of caries is reduced.
Oral health promotion should include education of women and their health care providers’ ways to prevent oral disease from occurring, and referral for dental services when disease is present.