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Pregnancy and Gum Disease

Current understanding of maternal and fetal physiology indicates that the benefits of providing dental care during pregnancy far outweigh potential risks. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases, including needed dental radiographs and use of local anesthesia, are highly beneficial and can be undertaken during pregnancy with no additional fetal or maternal risk when compared to the risk of not providing care. The American Academy of Periodontology, for example, urges oral health professionals to provide preventive services as early in pregnancy as possible and to provide treatment for acute infection or sources of sepsis irrespective of the stage of pregnancy.


The timing of such care is vital given that the oral health of pregnant women has the potential to impact the oral health status of their children. Further, assessment of oral health risks in infants and young children with appropriate intervention, along with anticipatory guidance for parents and other caregivers, has the potential to prevent the transmissibility and development of early childhood caries (ECC).

The most common complications of pregnancy include spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), preterm birth, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. The current scientific studies, referenced in this document, regarding these conditions related to dental care indicate:

  • Control of oral diseases in pregnant women has the potential to reduce the transmission of oral bacteria from mothers to their children.
  • There is no evidence relating early spontaneous abortion to first trimester oral health care or dental procedures.
  • Preeclampsia is a challenging condition in the management of the pregnant patient, but preeclampsia is not a contraindication to dental care.
  • While research is ongoing, the best available evidence to date shows that periodontal treatment has no effect on birth outcomes of preterm labor and low preterm birthweight and is safe for the mother and fetus.
  • Best practice suggests that because it has been shown to be safe and effective in reducing periodontal disease and periodontal pathogens, periodontal care should be provided during pregnancy.

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Culver City, CA

United Dental Care
3909 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230
Tel: (310) 390-6000

Dr Abbas

Abbas Eftekhari, D.D.S. Dr. E

Dr. Eftekhari is a member of the
American Dental Association and has
extensive experience in dentistry.

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