Authors: Sunali Khanna, Prita A Dhaimade
Human resource lies at the heart of economic and social development especially in developing countries. India has the largest youth population worldwide. Optimum economic development and demographic dividend can be achieved through investment in the health and education of this population starting at the grassroots levels such as antenatal health care. Previous studies have shown some antenatal oral conditions may have adverse consequences on the fetus. Oral health care during pregnancy is often avoided and misunderstood by healthcare professionals. Patients lacked awareness about the adverse outcomes of poor oral health on their pregnancy. Periodontitis is associated with preterm and infantile low birth weight. High level of cariogenic organisms in the oral cavity have been linked to higher incidences of caries in the infant .Other conditions like pregnancy gingivitis and pyogenic granuloma are benign and require oral prophylaxis, reassurance and regular monitoring. Dental procedures like diagnostic radiography, extractions, periodontal treatment, restorations are safe and best performed during the second trimester .Appropriate dental care during pregnancy can also prevent poor prenatal outcomes like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. It is imperative to screen every expectant mother for oral lesions, receive comprehensive oral health education and dental treatment when necessary. It is evident that dental management during pregnancy still presents some deviations from scientific literature recommendations, indicating the need to update these health care professionals in order to establish guidelines for prenatal dental care.
Keywords Oral health, Pregnancy, Ante-natal Counselling
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