271041 Oral health care during pregnancy: A national consensus statement

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 5:20 PM - 5:45 PM

Katrina A. Holt, MPH, MS, RD , National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Oral health care is safe throughout pregnancy; however, some pregnant women, their families, and health professionals believe that it may be harmful. In addition, although oral disease is rampant among pregnant women, oral health is frequently not optimally addressed during prenatal care.

Oral health care during pregnancy is important for several reasons: oral health is part of overall health, poor oral health has been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes for mothers and children, and improving pregnant women's oral health decreases their children's risk for dental caries. Health professionals (e.g., dentists, dental hygienists, physicians, midwives, physicians, nurse practitioners) need to ensure that the pregnant women they serve receive appropriate oral health care, including preventive services, in a timely fashion.

In 2011, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, with assistance from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, and in collaboration with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Dental Association convened an Oral Health Care During Pregnancy Consensus Development Expert Workgroup Meeting in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a national consensus statement to increase health professionals' awareness of the importance and safety of women's oral health care during pregnancy through the promotion of evidence-based science.

The expert workgroup reviewed policies from federal agencies and national organizations addressing the oral health needs of pregnant women, recent literature on oral health care during pregnancy, and existing perinatal guidelines. This review process identified common ground for a national consensus statement, which will be presented.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explain why oral health care during pregnancy is important. Identify barrier to oral health care during pregnancy. Describe the content of the national consensus statement developed to increase health professionals’ awareness of the importance and safety of women’s oral health care during pregnancy through the promotion of evidence-based science.

Keywords: Oral Health, Pregnancy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator on several federally funded grants focusing on improving the oral health of the maternal and child health population, including pregnant women. My responsibilities including convening expert workgroup meetings and helping to translate science to practice.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.