Dental health is important during pregnancy, but according to a new French study, not all women seek the help or preventative care they need during pregnancy, for a variety of reasons. The MaterniDent study was completed in France as a means of determining the prevalence of dental problems during pregnancy and whether or not pregnant women sought out the care they needed when a health issue arose.

The MaterniDent study included data submitted via questionnaire from more than 900 women. According to the data, nearly 80% of pregnant women report dental problems or pain during their pregnancy. However, only 44% of pregnant women sought dental care during pregnancy and of that 44 %, about 25% did so as a result of dental problem or pain. Young women were less likely to seek dental care as were women lacking supplemental insurance covering dental appointments.

Results: The majority of pregnant women suffer dental problems or pain during pregnancy, but few seek the dental care they need for economic, insurance and other reasons. Education about the importance of proper dental care during pregnancy is imperative for all women.

Source: Vergnes JN, Pastor-Harper D, Constantin D, Bedos C, Kaminski M, Nabet C, Sixou M, Rouillon F. Perceived oral health and use of dental services during pregnancy: the MaterniDent study. Sante Publique. 2013 May-Jun;25(3):281-92.