Committee Opinion No. 569: oral health care during pregnancy and through the lifespan

Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Aug;122(2 Pt 1):417-422. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000433007.16843.10.


Oral health is an important component of general health and should be maintained during pregnancy and through a woman's lifespan. Maintaining good oral health may have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other disorders. In 2007-2009, 35% of U.S. women reported that they did not have a dental visit within the past year and 56% of women did not visit a dentist during pregnancy. Access to dental care is directly related to income level; the poorest women are least likely to have received dental care. Optimal maternal oral hygiene during the perinatal period may decrease the amount of caries-producing oral bacteria transmitted to the infant during common parenting behavior, such as sharing spoons. Although some studies have shown a possible association between periodontal infection and preterm birth, evidence has failed to show any improvement in outcomes after dental treatment during pregnancy. Nonetheless, these studies did not raise any concern about the safety of dental services during pregnancy. To potentiate general health and well-being, women should routinely be counseled about the maintenance of good oral health habits throughout their lives as well as the safety and importance of oral health care during pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Dental Care*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Oral Health*
  • Periodontal Diseases / therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Pregnancy*