College of Health Sciences


Community & Environmental Health

Graduate Level


Graduate Program/Concentration

Masters of Public Health: Health Promotion and Behavior

Publication Date





Introduction: Oral health has a significant impact on pregnancy outcomes. Inter-professional collaboration can assist in bridging the gap between oral and systemic health and assist in optimizing the health of low-income pregnant women, infants, and children.

Methods: A literature review was used to ascertain the impact of oral health on adverse pregnancy outcomes. Research sources used in this literature review were gathered from the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, PubMed, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Elsevier, Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS), the Office of the Surgeon General, and Google Scholars. Inclusion criteria were pregnant women.

Results: Poor dental health during pregnancy can contribute to adverse pregnancy outcomes and contributes to early childhood caries. Conversely, many systemic diseases can present oral signs and symptoms. Low-income women are disproportionately affected due to limited or no access to oral health care through their health insurance, or due to poor quality health care. The socio-ecological model was used to identify factors that affect oral health at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and public policy levels.

Discussion: Studies have shown that inter-professional collaboration with health care professionals and other non-dental professionals can improve pregnant women’s oral health. Prenatal care that includes oral health screening, education, and referrals can mitigate the risk of oral diseases during pregnancy and the postpartum period. A systems change approach can be utilized to create a collaborative effort in addressing this public health issue.


Inter-professional collaboration, Postpartum, Oral health, Systemic health, Adverse pregnancy outcomes, Low-income pregnant women, Prenatal care


Dental Hygiene | Dental Public Health and Education | Maternal and Child Health



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The Impact of Oral Health on Low-Income Pregnant Women living in the United States