Does Treating Gum Disease Reduce the Incidence of Preterm Birth?

February 4, 2009

Previous research has suggested a link between periodontal disease and premature birth.  Consequently, pregnant woman have been encouraged to undergo periodontal treatment to reduce these risks.

However, recent studies conducted at the Univeristy of North Carolina’s School of Dentistry revealed no significant differences in pregnancy outcomes when study participants received treatment, as compared to those participants who did not.

As a result of these findings, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) released a statement calling for additional research to “clarify the potential impact that periodontal disease has on the risk of preterm births“.  The AAP also continues to encourage pregnant women to care for their oral health.

You  may also wish to read what the ADA has to say about this topic.

For information on current studies visit or browse this list of recent articles as indexed in PubMed.


Celebrate National Childrens Dental Health Month

January 23, 2009

Each February the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) to stress the importance of oral health. The ADA has provided a NCDHM resource page that includes downloads for children and caregivers.

Here are some other resources to help you promote this celebration and provide information for patients and caregivers.

Books at Bibby library:

  • Paediatric dentistry / edited by Welbury, Duggal, Hosey, 2005
  • Pediatric dentistry : infancy through adolescence /Pinkham , 2005
  • Periodontal and gingival health and diseases : children, adolescents, and young adults / Bimstein, 2001

Journals at Bibby library:

  • Journal of dentistry for children
  • Pediatric dental journal
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • The Journal of clinical pediatric dentistry

Oral Health Care for Mom and Baby

September 26, 2008

The National Maternal and Oral Health Resource Center has published three new documents related to pregnancy and oral health, and oral health for babies.

The first, Access to Oral Health Care During the Perinatal Period, is a policy brief that provides an overview of barriers to addressing women’s oral health needs during the perinatal period. Evidence from the professional, peer-reviewed literature is cited throughout the document.

The second document  is a summary of practice guidelines for oral health care during pregnancy.  Geared toward prenatal and oral health professionals, the guidelines are intended to bring about changes in the health care delivery system and to improve the overall standard of care for pregnant women.

Lastly, Two Healthy Smiles: Tips to Keep You and Your Baby Healthy  is a brochure designed to educate women about the importance of oral hygiene and oral health care during pregnancy. Topics include brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods, and getting dental checkups and treatment. Additional topics include the impact of hormonal changes during pregnancy on gum health, caring for an infant’s gums and teeth, and finding a dentist.

View the latest publications on pregnancy and oral health, as indexed in PubMed here. 





Dental Hygienists and Head Start

March 7, 2008

The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) is pleased to announce the availability of the new resource, Dental Hygienists and Head Start: What You Should Know and How You Can Help.  This document  provides information about how dental hygienists can help address the oral health needs of pregnant women, infants, and children enrolled in Head Start.

The tip sheet provides an overview of the Head Start program, oral health status of children enrolled in Head Start and barriers to care, and oral health services provided by Head Start. A list of practical suggestions for how dental hygienists can get involved with Head Start, both as individuals and as members of their professional association, is also included. It can be accessed from OHRC’s Web site:

The URL to view the PDF directly is:


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