Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all pregnant adolescents seek professional oral health care during the first trimester. After obtaining a thorough medical history, the dental professional performs a comprehensive evaluation which includes a thorough dental history, clinical examination and caries risk assessment. The dental history should include a discussion of preexisting oral conditions, current oral hygiene practices and preventive homecare, previous radiographic exposures and tobacco use. The adolescent’s diet history should address frequency of carbohydrate intake, especially due to increased snacking.20

Specific questions asked during the oral health history may include the following questions:

  • When and where was your last dental visit?
  • Do you have swollen or bleeding gums, a toothache (pain), problems eating or chewing food or other problems in your mouth?
  • Is it possible you are pregnant?
  • How many weeks pregnant are you? (When is your due date?)
  • Do you have any questions or concerns about getting oral health care while you are pregnant?
  • Since becoming pregnant, have you been vomiting? If so how often?
  • Have you received prenatal care? If not, do you need help making an appointment for prenatal care?
  • Describe your diet.
  • Describe your use of tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs.

After the medical, dental, dietary history and drug histories are obtained, a comprehensive oral examination is performed, which includes a risk assessment for dental caries and periodontal disease.

Based upon the adolescent’s oral health history, clinical findings and previous radiographic history, radiographs may be indicated to evaluate and definitively diagnose oral diseases and conditions.21