- Describe the evidence supporting a relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy
- Identify the risk factors preterm birth and preeclampsia
- Express patient-appropriate messages to educate women of child-bearing age about the importance of oral health and the potential impact of periodontal disease on pregnancy
It is well recognized that infection and inflammation is associated with a significant proportion of adverse pregnancy outcomes, and one of the most common sources of infection and inflammation is periodontitis. It’s been estimated that periodontal diseases, including gingivitis, affect 75% of pregnant women. Periodontal infection has been correlated with pregnancy complications such as preterm birth, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and delivery of small-for-gestational age. Oral healthcare providers who care for women of child-bearing age should be aware of the evidence that supports the possibility that periodontal infection may be a modifiable risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes. This case-based course empowers oral healthcare providers to incorporate into everyday patient care evidence of the relationship between periodontal disease and risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.