One way to prevent cavities in young children is to improve pregnant women’s oral health. Pregnancy may make women more prone to periodontal (gum) disease and cavities. Oral health may be considered an important part of prenatal care, given that poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to poor health outcomes for the mother and baby.
Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease
Pregnancy and Dental Cavities
Pregnant women may also be at risk for cavities due to changes in behaviors, such as eating habits. Women who have a lot of cavity-causing bacteria during pregnancy and after delivery could transmit these bacteria from their mouth to the mouth of their baby. Early contact with these bacteria and to other sugars, such as from frequent snacking or taking a bottle to bed, can lead to early childhood cavities and the need for extensive dental care at a young age.
- 1 in 4 women of childbearing age have untreated cavities.
- Children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss are more than 3 times more likely to have cavities as a child.
- Children with poor oral health status are nearly 3 times more likely to miss school because of dental pain.