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Maternal periodontal disease, Neonatal complications, Preterm delivery, Low birthweight



  1. Dasanayake, Ananda P. PhD, MPH, BDS, FACE
  2. Gennaro, Susan DSN, RN, FAAN
  3. Hendricks-Munoz, Karen D. MD, MPH, FAAP
  4. Chhun, Nok MS


The purpose of this article is to review the current literature on the association between maternal periodontal disease and poor pregnancy and neonatal outcomes and outline the role nurses can play in improving the oral health of pregnant women. Maternal periodontal disease is linked to preterm birth, low birthweight, and preterm low birthweight, but treatment of periodontal disease during pregnancy has been shown to be safe and effective. Nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse-midwives are in a position to educate pregnant women on the benefits of good oral health and identify and refer women who are in need of dental care for treatment.