Maintaining good oral health can lead to improved health and well-being of women during pregnancy and overall health later in life. 2
In reality, maternal oral health during pregnancy is not given the highest priority for consultation because the mother is more focused on other physiological changes and events happening to her during pregnancy.
Aside from that, there are also existing myths on oral health care when the woman is pregnant such as “Being pregnant doesn’t affect her mouth”; “pregnant women should avoid dental work” and “never get a dental x-ray while pregnant”.3 These fallacies contribute to the hesitation of pregnant women to seek dental consultation.
However, as health care professionals, holistic and systematic care for all pregnant women should be given with utmost importance. Like any other system when neglected may result in an adverse outcome.
Essentially, there were various studies showing evidence and linking together poor maternal oral health and pregnancy outcomes. These may range from preterm delivery and low birth weight.4 Women who did not receive dental care during pregnancy or did not have a teeth cleaning during pregnancy were at slightly higher risk for preterm delivery. 5
Specifically, there had been studies presenting that there was an association between the occurrences of preterm birth to pregnant mothers who have periodontal disease during pregnancy. 6 There was a potential association between maternal periodontal disease and delivery of a preterm and low birth weight infant.7
Basically, preterm or premature births are terms describing neonates which are born too early. As early as 1976, incidence of premature infant was already recognized and defined by birth weight less than 2500 g and those delivered before 37 completed weeks or 36 6/7 weeks and younger or earlier. 8
In 2010, those before < 28 weeks were labelled extremely preterm; while those occurring between 28 – < 32 weeks were very preterm; 32 –