When people think of women's health issues, breast cancer and heart disease may come to mind first. However, dental health problems are prevalent among females, and some women do not realize that mouth diseases during pregnancy can affect both them and their babies.
According to a recent review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, there are few guidelines for dentists on how to provide oral care that is tailored to the unique needs of pregnant women.
The researchers wrote that only about half of mothers-to-be who experience a dental problem seek a follow-up evaluation to ensure that they are in good health.
They also noted that gingivitis is the most common oral health disease among pregnant women - affecting 75 percent of them. Advanced stages of this condition have been associated with an increased risk of preterm labor as well as other adverse pregnancy outcomes.
This research highlights the need for women to schedule regular dental appointments during pregnancy and practice good oral hygiene, since gum disease and its complications may be preventable.
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