Standards of Care for Perinatal Dental Treatment

While interventional studies were equivocal on the benefit of nonsurgical periodontal therapy on preterm birth rates,29,30,74-78 all of the studies demonstrated clinical periodontal benefits to periodontal therapy. Furthermore, Michalowicz et al., stated “treatment of periodontitis in pregnant women improves periodontal disease and is safe.”30 and later analysis of these data demonstrated periodontal pathogens were decreased in the subgingival plaque of pregnant women who received therapy.91 A recent meta-analysis and systematic review of the current literature suggests regardless of the optimal interventional protocol and/or timing of intervention that may improve preterm birth, treatment of periodontal disease during pregnancy will improve oral health.92 Furthermore, it has been suggested the establishment and maintenance of optimal periodontal health prior to conception may be critical in the prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Therefore, there may be opportunities to discuss optimal oral health and hygiene as a part of the preconception process for women of child bearing age.