Original Publication
Open Access

Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum: Module 5. Oral Health in Pregnancy

Published: November 6, 2012 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9259

Included in this publication:

  • BOHC Toolkit.pdf
  • Instructor's Guide.doc
  • Module 5 Speaker Notes.pdf
  • Pregnant Patients.pps

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This resource on pregnancy and oral health covers topics for health care providers who take care of prenatal patients. The module covers a range of topics, including oral diseases of pregnancy, complications of these diseases on the pregnancy, safety of dental interventions in pregnancy, and how to promote oral health for pregnant women and their newborn children. This resource is designed as an interactive educational tool for both individuals and groups from all aspects of the health care profession. It is a part of the series Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum, the nation’s most comprehensive and widely used oral health curriculum designed for primary care clinicians. The eight-module course covers the relationship of oral to systemic health, child oral health, adult oral health, dental emergencies, oral health in pregnancy, fluoride varnish, and the oral examination.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this resource, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe basic oral anatomy, terminology, and performance of the oral examination.
  2. Develop familiarity with etiology and risk factors of periodontal disease and dental caries.
  3. Understand the evidence for periodontitis affecting pregnancy outcomes.
  4. Understand the evidence for caries risk transmission from mother to child.
  5. Manage other oral conditions in pregnancy.
  6. Understand the safety of common dental interventions in pregnancy.
  7. Promote oral health in pregnant women and newborn children.

Author Information

  • Hugh Silk, MD, MPH, FAAFP: University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Alan B. Douglass, MD: Middlesex Hospital
  • Russell Maier, MD: Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program
  • Melinda Clark, MD: Albany Medical Center
  • Mark Deutchman, MD: University of Colorado
  • Joanna Douglass, DDS, BDS: University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
  • Wanda C. Gonsalves, MD: Medical University of South Carolina
  • Rocio Quinonez, DMD: Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • James W. Tysinger, PhD: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • A. Stevens Wrightson, MD: University of Kentucky College of Medicine

None to report.

Development of the Smiles for Life curriculum was supported by unrestricted grants from the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH), which in turn was funded by the Dentaquest Foundation, Washington Dental Service Foundation, and Connecticut Health Foundation. This project is also sponsored in part by funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration/Maternal Child Health Bureau grant #U44MC20223.


Silk H, Douglass A, Maier R, et al. Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum: module 5. Oral health in pregnancy. MedEdPORTAL. 2012;8:9259. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9259

This publication is co-sponsored by the American Dental Education Association.