In 2009, a total of 409,840 infants were born to women of 15 to 19 years of age*. Changes in the oral cavity have been associated with pregnancy. The perinatal period is the period starting from about 20 weeks of gestation and ending 4 weeks after the child is born. Perinatal oral care often gets neglected due to other priorities during pregnancy but it is a very critical health factor.
Frequent snacking, hormonal changes and morning sickness can contribute to alterations in the mouth. If left untreated, oral disease may compromise the health of the mother-to-be as well as her unborn child.
At Little Pearls we provide caries risk assessment and periodontal (gum disease) screening followed by appropriate treatment if necessary. Recommendations are made for the use of anti-cavity sugar substitutes such a Xylitol to reduce oral bacteria. Additionally, counseling is provided regarding precautions taken to prevent transmission of the mouth germs from care givers to the baby.
*Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: Preliminary data for 2009. National Vital Statistics Reports 2010