Oral health and pregnancy: Trends over the past three years
Despite improved oral health over the past two decades, oral disease remains a significant health problem for certain U.S. populations. One sub-group at even greater risk for oral disease and lack of access to dental care are low-income pregnant women. Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman's life and is characterized by complex physiological changes. These changes can adversely affect oral health during pregnancy. Our goal was to implement an intervention model that incorporated oral health education and screening into community prenatal care programs and increased access to dental services through case management and education of providers. Basic oral health screening was performed at a local prenatal clinic targeting low-income pregnant women in Columbus, Ohio over three consecutive years (2009-2011). Demographic data for all three years showed the majority of the women were African American, followed by Caucasian, and Hispanic. The caries prevalence rate was 59% in 2009, 57% in 2010 and 57% in 2011. Gingival bleeding was present in 50% of the women in 2009 with a similar trend in the following years. Also, self-reported smoking rate remained relatively constant; 16%, 14% and 16% respectively. There was a high prevalence of untreated decay among low-income pregnant women in Columbus, Ohio.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Discuss prevalence of dental disease in low-income pregnant women
Describe strategies to improve access to care
Keyword(s): Oral Health, Pregnancy
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