Baby steps to bridge the gap between medicine and dentistry
Updated: Oct 1, 2018
Bridging the gap between dentistry and medicine is one of our passions. We believe in total body health, not separating parts of the body and pretending they have no connection. There are specialties that focus on certain areas, but choosing to not consider the mouth or the eyes for that matter a part of your total health is simply baffling. So, you can imagine our excitement when Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge asked us to create and present a CE course that focused on oral health and pregnancy! It was an honor and a privilege to speak to these amazing health care providers.
Studies show most pregnant women are not aware of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with oral health. It is well documented that periodontal disease is associated with increased risk of preeclampsia, preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Dental treatment during pregnancy has been determined to be safe. Pregnancy can have affects on your oral health as well. Studies show there is an increase in caries risk during pregnancy. A drop in pH, more frequent snacking and higher carbohydrate consumption are the factors consider to be the cause of increased caries risk. Pregnancy gingivitis is quite common among pregnant women, this is associated with hormone shifts during pregnancy. These are just the tip of the iceberg, I would love for the standard of care at the first obstetric visit to include recommending women have a dental exam. Changing the way we think about dentistry and medicine is a challenge. We have been doing it this way for so long, it certainly won't happen over night. We hope to contribute any way we can. We enjoyed doing this presentation and hopefully we will have more opportunities like this to bridge that gap!