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					                                                               RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 



Dental Care Use and Self-Reported Dental Problems
in Relation to Pregnancy
| Mona T. Lydon-Rochelle, PhD, MPH, CNM, Paula Krakowiak, MS, Philippe P Hujoel, PhD, MPH, and Riley M. Peters, PhD
                                                                       .


One of the Healthy People 2010 objectives is
                                                                 Objectives. We examined the relationships between risk factors amenable to
to increase the proportion of adults who use
                                                              intervention and the likelihood of dental care use during pregnancy.
the oral health care system each year.1 Preva-
                                                                 Methods. We used data from the Washington State Department of Health’s
lence rates of dental care use during preg-                   Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System.
nancy have been reported to range from                           Results. Of the women surveyed, 58% reported no dental care during their
23% to 43%.2,3 Previous studies indicate not                  pregnancy. Among women with no dental problems, those not receiving dental
only that pregnant women underuse dental                      care were at markedly increased risk of having received no counseling on oral
care but that poor women disproportionately                   health care, being overweight, and using tobacco. Among women who received
fail to obtain such care.2,3                                  dental care, those with dental problems were more likely to have lower incomes
   Although there have been recent in-                        and Medicaid coverage than those without dental problems.
creases in research on maternal oral health                      Conclusions. There is a need for enhanced education and training of maternity
                                                              care providers concerning oral health in pregnancy. (Am J Public Health. 2004;
during and after pregnancy,4–11 little is
                                                              94:765–771)
known about amenable factors that could be
addressed during the prenatal period by ma-
ternity care clinicians, dental care providers,         oral health care by maternity care providers         groups were oversampled. Seventy-four percent
public health policymakers, and women                   is a simple, low-cost intervention.                  of the 2147 women who delivered a live-born
themselves. Only 2 studies to date, to our                 In addition, increased understanding of           infant between January 1 and December 31,
knowledge, have examined predictors of                  mutable factors such as obesity and smoking          2000, responded to the Washington PRAMS
dental care use during pregnancy.                       could offer the potential for developing pre-        survey (n=1592). Comparisons of birth certifi-
   A population-based cross-sectional study             natal screening and referral strategies.13,14        cate information among respondents and non-
conducted in North Dakota revealed that                 Clinicians and public health care providers          respondents showed that the latter were more
young women, women in poverty, and                      who care for women during pregnancy need             likely to be multiparous, unmarried, and Black
women with Medicaid coverage were at in-                new practical information concerning factors         and less likely to have completed high school.16
creased risk of not having a dentist visit dur-         that affect dental care use to allow develop-           In January 2000, several dental care ques-
ing their pregnancy.3 In another study,                 ment and implementation of oral health coun-         tions were added to the Washington PRAMS
Gaffield et al. analyzed Pregnancy Risk                 seling, screening, and referral strategies. The      survey. The revised survey assessed the care
Monitoring System data from 4 states.2                  present study was undertaken to examine the          of women’s teeth during their pregnancy by
They found a modest increase in risk of                 association between selected sociodemo-              asking whether they (1) had needed to see a
dental care underuse associated with pov-               graphic, pregnancy, and health service factors       dentist for a problem, (2) had visited a dentist
erty, Medicaid coverage, and late-onset pre-            amenable to intervention and the likelihood          or dental clinic, or (3) had discussed with a
natal care among women who reported hav-                of dental care use during pregnancy.                 dental or other health care worker how to
ing a dental problem during pregnancy.                                                                       care for their teeth and gums. Eighty-four per-
However, neither of these studies accounted             METHODS                                              cent (n = 1343) of the respondents completed
for confounding variables likely to distort                                                                  all 3 questions on dental care use during
the actual relationship between such factors               Data for this study were derived from the         pregnancy, and 95% (n = 1513) answered 2
and dental care use.                                    Washington State Department of Health Preg-          of these questions. Information on sociodemo-
   In 2000, the surgeon general issued a call           nancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System              graphic, prenatal, and health service factors
for action to expand research efforts aimed at          (PRAMS). The PRAMS surveillance project              was taken from the PRAMS questionnaire.
improving oral health; this report indicated            study methodology has been described in de-             We assessed women according to reported
the need for studies describing the magnitude           tail previously.15 Briefly, the study involved       absence or presence of self-reported dental
of the problem, assessing care delivery char-           a cross-sectional, population-based mail/            problems. Analyses focusing on women with
acteristics, and identifying mitigating factors         telephone survey of a stratified systematic          no reported dental problems examined the
that promote or hinder good oral health.12              sample of Washington mothers who had re-             association between receipt of preventive care
Many factors associated with dental care use            cently delivered a live-born infant. Washington      and selected risk factors; the goal of analyses
during pregnancy are not amenable to inter-             State birth certificates were the sampling frame     focusing on women with reported dental
vention; however, provision of counseling on            source; women from minority racial/ethnic            problems separately was to help provide an



May 2004, Vol 94, No. 5 | American Journal of Public Health                                  Lydon-Rochelle et al. | Peer Reviewed | Research and Practice | 765
                                                            RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 


understanding of the association between re-           PRAMS respondents are assigned an analysis           dental care (OR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.1, 3.3).
ceipt of dental care and selected risk factors.        weight that is the product of the sampling           Among women with no dental problems, mea-
In addition, we examined the association be-           weight, the nonresponse weight, and the              sures of smoking appeared strongly associated
tween receipt or nonreceipt of care and re-            frame noncoverage weight. Sampling weights           with risk of not receiving dental care; smoking
ported dental problems to assess the risk fac-         are calculated by dividing the number of             during the final 3 months of pregnancy was
tors associated with such problems.                    women in the sample frame for a given stra-          associated with a 3.5-fold increase in risk of
   In terms of dental care use variables, women        tum by the number of women actually sam-             not receiving care (95% CI = 1.5, 8.1). The re-
were categorized as follows: (1) those who re-         pled in that stratum. These weights are then         sults for women who had ever smoked were
ported that they had no dental problems yet            adjusted by the response rates and noncover-         similar (OR = 3.6; 95% CI = 1.6, 8.1).
had received dental care; (2) those who re-            age rates associated with each stratum.                 We also examined whether the association
ported that they had no dental problems and                                                                 between selected risk factors and receipt of
did not receive dental care; (3) those who re-         RESULTS                                              dental care during pregnancy varied among
ported that they had dental problems and re-                                                                the women who reported having dental prob-
ceived dental care; and (4) those who reported            Overall, 58% of the pregnant women sur-           lems during their pregnancy (Table 2). Nonre-
that they had dental problems but did not re-          veyed here reported receiving no dental care         ceipt of counseling on oral health care during
ceive dental care. The primary risk factors of         during their pregnancy. Fifteen percent of the       pregnancy was associated with a high risk of
interest were household monthly income; par-           respondents reported that they had no dental         not receiving dental care (OR = 26.42; 95%
ticipation or nonparticipation in the Special          problems but received dental care; 38% re-           CI = 12.46, 56.02), and this was the most
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women,              ported that they had no dental problems and          significant factor of those listed in Table 2.
Infants, and Children; type of prenatal care in-       did not receive dental care; 26% reported that       None of the other associations between risk
surance coverage; trimester in which prenatal          they did have dental problems and received           factors and nonreceipt of care were statisti-
care was initiated; prenatal care site; counsel-       dental care; and 21% reported that they had          cally significant.
ing on oral health care; body mass index;              dental problems but did not receive dental              In an effort to assess risk factors associated
smoking status before the pregnancy; smoking           care. Table 1 shows the distribution of selected     with self-identified dental problems during
status during the final 3 months of the preg-          sociodemographic, prenatal, and health service       pregnancy, we stratified women according to
nancy; and history of ever having smoked.              characteristics according to self-reported dental    receipt and nonreceipt of dental care (Table 3).
   We conducted unconditional logistic regres-         problems and receipt of dental care. Women           In the analysis involving women who received
sion analyses to estimate, by means of odds ra-        who had no dental problems but received den-         dental care during their pregnancy, low
tios (ORs), associations between risk factors and      tal care were more likely than women in the          monthly income (in the $1200 to $2099
dental care use during pregnancy according to          other groups to be older, married, White, and        range) was the factor most strongly associated
self-reported dental problems. We also evalu-          primiparous; to be at higher educational and         with an increased risk of reports of dental prob-
ated the relationship between risk factors and         income levels; to have private insurance cover-      lems (OR=2.32; 95% CI=1.01, 5.3) (Table 3).
risk of reported dental problems according to          age; and to have received care from a private        The results were similar (2-fold increased risk)
receipt or nonreceipt of dental care. Estimates        physician or a health maintenance organization.      among women with Medicaid coverage and
of model parameters were computed via maxi-            They were less likely to be obese or to smoke.       among women who reported ever having
mum likelihood techniques, and 95% confi-                 We examined the association of potential          smoked (OR=2.64; 95% CI=1.13, 6.19). Fi-
dence intervals (CIs) were based on coefficient        risk factors with receipt of dental care among       nally, no measures of selected risk factors were
standard errors and the normal approximation.          women who did not report dental problems             significantly associated with the presence or ab-
   Established and suggested risk factors were         during pregnancy and those who did report            sence of reported dental problems among the
evaluated as potential confounders, including          such problems (Table 2). Among women re-             subgroup of women who did not receive dental
maternal age, marital status, race/ethnicity,          porting no dental problems, those who did not        care during their pregnancy.
educational level, income, parity, body mass           receive dental care were at markedly increased
index, and smoking status during the final 3           risk, relative to those who did receive care, to     DISCUSSION
months of pregnancy, along with infant birth-          have not been counseled on oral health care
weight and estimated gestational age. Those            during their pregnancy (OR = 22.32; 95%                 In this cross-sectional survey, we identified
risk factors that resulted in changes of 10% or        CI = 14.22, 35.02) (Table 2).                        previously unreported factors potentially
more in dental care use odds ratio estimates              In addition, among women without dental           amenable to clinical and public health inter-
were included in the covariate-adjusted model.         problems, risk of not receiving dental care was      ventions. Among women without reported
   Stata version 7.0 (Stata Corp, College Sta-         significantly associated with body mass index.       dental problems, elevated risks of not receiv-
tion, Tex) software was used to account for            The odds ratio among overweight women re-            ing dental care were associated with not being
the complex multistage sampling design im-             ceiving no dental care was 1.9 (95% CI = 1.1,        counseled on oral health care, obesity, and ei-
plemented to produce population estimates in           3.1), and the same odds ratio was observed           ther smoking during the final 3 months of
the modeled analyses. Specifically, individual         among obese women who did not receive                pregnancy or ever having smoked. Obe-



766 | Research and Practice | Peer Reviewed | Lydon-Rochelle et al.                                  American Journal of Public Health | May 2004, Vol 94, No. 5
                                                                        RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 


    TABLE 1—Selected Sample Characteristics, According to Dental Care Group:
    Washington State PRAMS Study, 2000

                               No Dental Problem/Received Care             No Dental Problem/No Care             Had Dental Problem/Received Care           Had Dental Problem/No Care
                                    Sample            Weighted              Sample            Weighted              Sample              Weighted        Sample (n = 168),      Weighted
         Characteristic       (n = 374), No. (%)   Distribution, %a   (n = 659), No. (%)   Distribution, %a   (n = 312), No. (%)     Distribution, %a       No. (%)         Distribution, %a

    Maternal age, y
       < 20                        37 (10)                 6               78 (12)               10                44 (14)                 13               24 (14)               11
       20–24                       56 (15)                10              178 (27)               23                84 (27)                 28               63 (38)               41
       25–29                      108 (29)                34              190 (29)               31                73 (23)                 23               35 (21)               21
       30–34                       99 (26)                30              139 (21)               23                69 (22)                 21               34 (20)               20
       ≥ 35                        74 (20)                20               74 (11)               13                42 (14)                 15               12 (7)                 7
    Marital status
       Married                    285 (76)                84              413 (63)               71               181 (58)                 65               81 (48)               59
       Unmarried                   89 (24)                16              244 (37)               28               127 (41)                 33               86 (51)               40
       Unknown                      0 (0)                  0                2 (0)                 1                 4 (1)                   2                1 (1)                 1
    Race/ethnicity
       White                      160 (43)                82              150 (23)               63                67 (22)                 59               42 (25)               70
       Hispanic                    45 (12)                 7              126 (19)               16                79 (25)                 22               26 (15)               14
       Asian/Pacific               76 (20)                 6              152 (23)               10                58 (19)                  8               28 (17)                7
             Islander
       Black                       46 (12)                 2              109 (17)                5                51 (16)                  4               34 (20)                6
       American Indian             43 (12)                 1              115 (17)                3                53 (17)                  3               38 (23)                3
       Unknown                      4 (1)                  2                7 (1)                 3                 4 (1)                   4                0 (0)                 0
    Maternal education, y
       < 12                        33 (9)                  5              141 (22)               18                78 (25)                 20               29 (17)               13
       12                          69 (18)                17              180 (27)               27                87 (28)                 24               67 (40)               46
       > 12                       246 (66)                72              273 (41)               49               110 (35)                 45               57 (34)               34
       Unknown                     26 (7)                  6               65 (10)                6                37 (12)                 11               15 (9)                 7
    Washington income,
         $ (monthly)
       < 1200                      49 (13)                11              168 (26)               22                96 (31)                 25               75 (45)               38
       1200–2099                   59 (16)                12              173 (26)               24                96 (31)                 31               41 (24)               24
       2100–2999                   48 (13)                13               83 (12)               14                31 (10)                 14               19 (11)               18
       ≥ 3000                     218 (58)                64              235 (36)               40                89 (28)                 30               33 (20)               20
    WIC participation
       Yes                        116 (31)                21              347 (53)               44               199 (64)                 51              105 (63)               62
       No                         255 (68)                78              304 (46)               55               110 (35)                 48               61 (36)               37
       Unknown                      3 (1)                  1                8 (1)                 1                 3 (1)                   1                2 (1)                 1
    Prenatal care payer
       Insurance/HMO               77 (20)                79              236 (36)               60               148 (47)                 46               78 (46)               52
       Medicaid                   260 (70)                14              337 (51)               28               118 (38)                 40               64 (38)               35
       Self-pay                     7 (2)                  1                9 (1)                 2                 4 (1)                   1                1 (1)                 1
       Military                    12 (3)                  3               26 (4)                 3                 8 (3)                   4                6 (4)                 3
       Other                       15 (4)                  3               32 (5)                 5                22 (7)                   7               13 (8)                 6
       Unknown                      3 (1)                  0               19 (3)                 2                12 (4)                   2                6 (3)                 3
    Trimester prenatal care
         initiated
       First                      308 (82)                83              461 (70)               71               220 (71)                 75              118 (70)               79
       Second or third             40 (11)                11              131 (20)               20                54 (17)                 13               38 (23)               16
       No care                      0 (0)                  0                3 (0)                 0                 2 (1)                   1                3 (2)                 1
       Unknown                     26 (7)                  6               64 (10)                9                36 (11)                 11                9 (5)                 4

                                                                                                                                                                                  Continued




May 2004, Vol 94, No. 5 | American Journal of Public Health                                                       Lydon-Rochelle et al. | Peer Reviewed | Research and Practice | 767
                                                                        RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 


    TABLE 1—Continued

    Prenatal care site
        Private physician’s        243 (65)               76              338 (51)                63                134 (43)                  56                 80 (47)                60
             office/HMO clinic
        Hospital clinic              69 (19)              12              136 (21)                15                 83 (27)                  19                 40 (24)                15
        Health department            20 (5)                3               61 (9)                  5                 36 (12)                   8                 20 (12)                10
             clinic
    Community or migrant             10 (3)                 1              23 (4)                   3                14 (4)                     3                 5 (3)                   3
          health center
        Other                        28 (7)                 8              82 (12)                12                 33 (10)                  12                 18 (11)                  9
        Unknown                       4 (1)                 0              19 (3)                  2                 12 (4)                    2                  5 (3)                   3
    Counseled on oral health
          care
        Yes                        294 (79)               79              112 (17)                15                245 (79)                  80                 27 (16)                14
        No                          79 (21)               20              545 (83)                85                 63 (20)                  19                140 (83)                86
        Unknown                      1 (0)                 1                2 (0)                  0                  4 (1)                    1                  1 (1)                  0
    Parity
        1                          182 (49)               45              270 (41)                41                117 (38)                  34                 59 (35)                33
        ≥2                         192 (51)               55              389 (59)                59                195 (62)                  66                109 (65)                67
    Body mass index, kg/m2
        < 18.5 (underweight)        21 (6)                 4               42 (6)                  5                 20 (6)                    6                 13 (8)                  6
        18.5–24.9 (normal)         245 (65)               66              310 (47)                48                153 (49)                  54                 80 (48)                47
        25.0–29.9 (overweight)      57 (15)               16              153 (23)                25                 70 (23)                  20                 33 (19)                21
        ≥ 30.0 (obese)              51 (14)               14              154 (24)                22                 69 (22)                  20                 42 (25)                26
    Smoked before pregnancy
        Yes                         46 (12)               13              124 (19)                22                 63 (20)                  22                 55 (33)                38
        No                         324 (87)               87              520 (79)                75                239 (77)                  72                109 (65)                60
        Unknown                      4 (1)                 0               15 (2)                  3                 10 (3)                    6                  4 (2)                  2
    Smoked during last
          3 months of
          pregnancy
        No                         356 (95)               96              593 (90)                85                278 (89)                  89                133 (79)                78
        Yes                         16 (4)                 4               61 (9)                 14                 31 (10)                  10                 34 (20)                22
        Unknown                      2 (1)                 0                5 (1)                  1                  3 (1)                    1                  1 (1)                  0
    Ever smoked
        Yes                         17 (5)                 4               63 (10)                14                 33 (11)                  10                 34 (20)                22
        No                         356 (95)               96              593 (90)                86                278 (89)                  89                133 (79)                78
        Unknown                      1 (0)                 0                3 (0)                  0                  1 (0)                    1                  1 (1)                  0
    Birthweight, g
        < 2500                      20 (6)                 3               52 (8)                  6                  8 (3)                    3                 10 (6)                  8
        ≥ 2500                     349 (93)               96              604 (92)                93                304 (97)                  97                158 (94)                92
        Unknown                      5 (1)                 1                3 (0)                  1                  0 (0)                    0                  0 (0)                  0
    Estimated gestational
          age, wk
        < 37                        28 (7)                 5               58 (9)                  8                 20 (7)                    7                 11 (6)                 12
        ≥ 37                       339 (91)               92              586 (89)                91                285 (91)                  91                151 (90)                86
        Unknown                      7 (2)                 3               15 (2)                  1                  7 (2)                    2                  6 (4)                  2

    Note. Of the 1592 respondents, 1513 (95%) had information available on dental care use during pregnancy. WIC = Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
    a
     Distribution of the characteristic among the survey respondents, weighted to account for sampling design, survey nonresponse, and sampling frame noncoverage.


sity17–19 and smoking20–24 have previously                         first study to report on these associations dur-                     crease in risk associated with not receiving
been shown to have an adverse effect on den-                       ing pregnancy, providing new information on                          dental care and not being counseled on oral
tal health care among nonpregnant popula-                          a serious and underaddressed problem among                           health care was similar regardless of whether
tions; however, to our knowledge this is the                       pregnant women.2,3 Finally, the size of the in-                      or not women reported dental problems.



768 | Research and Practice | Peer Reviewed | Lydon-Rochelle et al.                                                            American Journal of Public Health | May 2004, Vol 94, No. 5
                                                                            RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 


    TABLE 2—Risk of Nonreceipt of Dental Care During Pregnancy Associated With Selected                                                      When we conducted separate analyses ac-
    Characteristics, by Presence or Absence of Self-Reported Dental Problems: Washington                                                  cording to receipt and nonreceipt of dental care
    State PRAMS Study, 2000                                                                                                               during pregnancy, we found somewhat diver-
                                                                                                                                          gent risk factor patterns associated with self-re-
                                                            No Reported Dental Problems               Reported Dental Problems            ported dental problems. Among women who
                                    a
                   Characteristic                            OR                 95% CI                OR                 95% CI           received dental care, the association with den-
    Income (monthly), $ b                                                                                                                 tal problems was significant for those with
       < 1200                                                1.27             0.58, 2.76              1.74             0.66, 4.59         lower monthly incomes, those with Medicaid
       1200–2099                                             1.62             0.78, 3.37              0.61             0.24, 1.59         coverage, and those who reported ever having
       2100–2999                                             1.00                                     1.00                                smoked. These results are generally consistent
       ≥ 3000                                                0.65             0.35, 1.20              0.48             0.18, 1.24         with the results of 2 cross-sectional studies sug-
    WIC participationc                                                                                                                    gesting that, among pregnant women, there is a
       Yes                                                   1.75             1.04, 2.94              1.34             0.62, 2.90         relationship between low socioeconomic status
       No                                                    1.00                                     1.00                                and likelihood of not obtaining dental care.2,3
    Prenatal care payer c                                                                                                                    In contrast, we found no significant associa-
       Medicaid                                              1.05             0.56, 1.94              0.53             0.24, 1.15         tion between late prenatal care and dental
       Insurance/HMO                                         1.00                                     1.00                                care use. A previous PRAMS study conducted
       Self-pay                                              1.73             0.38, 7.89              0.63             0.08, 4.97         in Illinois, Louisiana, and New Mexico re-
       Military                                              1.15             0.38, 3.48              0.52             0.11, 2.55         ported a 42% to 53% increased risk of
       Other                                                 1.19             0.43, 3.29              0.64             0.20, 2.08         nonuse associated with late prenatal care, but
    Trimester prenatal care initiatedd
                                                                                                                                          self-reported dental care problems were not
       First                                                 1.00                                     1.00
                                                                                                                                          examined.2 In addition, this multistate PRAMS
       Second or third                                       1.59             0.89, 2.85              1.00             0.47, 2.12
                                                                                                                                          study did not control for confounders, which
       No care                                               ...                                      0.62             0.05, 7.19
                                                                                                                                          may have increased any risks associated with
    Prenatal care sitee
                                                                                                                                          prenatal care; in this study, we controlled for
       Private physician’s office/HMO clinic                 1.00                                     1.00
       Hospital clinic                                       0.84             0.46, 1.56              0.65             0.29, 1.47         multiple factors. Use of statewide PRAMS data
       Health department clinic                              0.58             0.24, 1.38              1.00             0.33, 3.05         to investigate the associations between risk
       Community or migrant health center                    0.66             0.17, 2.51              1.01             0.24, 4.36         factors and dental care allowed us to measure
       Other                                                 1.10             0.53, 2.30              0.68             0.24, 1.92         and take into account the influence of impor-
    Counseled on oral health care                                                                                                         tant confounding factors that have the poten-
       Yes                                                  1.00                                      1.00                                tial to distort the associations between se-
       No                                                  22.32             14.22, 35.02            26.42            12.46, 56.02        lected risk factors and dental care use, thus
    Body mass index, kg/m2c                                                                                                               avoiding the probable overestimation or un-
       < 18.5 (underweight)                                  1.90             0.82, 4.41              1.12             0.33, 3.81         derestimation of reported associated risks.
       18.5–24.9 (normal)                                    1.00                                     1.00                                   Our study involved important methodolog-
       25.0–29.9 (overweight)                                1.89             1.14, 3.13              1.18             0.54, 2.59         ical limitations. For example, our survey
       ≥ 30.0 (obese)                                        1.88             1.09, 3.25              1.52             0.73, 3.14         asked “Did you need to see a dentist for a
    Smoked before pregnancy f                                                                                                             problem?” but did not distinguish the type of
       Yes                                                   1.74             0.98, 3.08              1.86             0.87, 3.94         dental problem or whether the woman under-
       No                                                    1.00                                     1.00
                                                                                                                                          went preventive care, a routine dental exami-
    Smoked during last 3 months of pregnancy g
                                                                                                                                          nation, restorative procedures, or emergency
       Yes                                                   3.52             1.53, 8.08              1.83             0.79, 4.22
                                                                                                                                          care. Data on type of care are important, be-
       No                                                    1.00                                     1.00
                                                                                                                                          cause women who receive preventive care
    Ever smokedg
                                                                                                                                          are less likely to develop periodontal disease,
       Yes                                                   3.57             1.57, 8.12              1.80             0.79, 4.12
       No                                                    1.00                                     1.00                                which has been linked to adverse birth out-
                                                                                                                                          comes such as preterm delivery.4,7,9,10,25,26
    Note. WIC = Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; OR = odds ratio; CI = confidence interval.          Similarly, PRAMS does not collect informa-
    a
      Reference group: women who received dental care during pregnancy.
    b
      Adjusted for mother’s race and education.                                                                                           tion on dental insurance coverage, which is a
    c
      Adjusted for mother’s education and monthly income.                                                                                 primary determinant in whether people obtain
    d
    e
      Adjusted for mother’s monthly income.                                                                                               dental care.27–31 Therefore, we were unable to
      Adjusted for mother’s race, education, and monthly income.
    f
     Adjusted for mother’s marital status, race, and age.                                                                                 assess the impact of dental coverage. Also, be-
    g
      Adjusted for mother’s race and monthly income.                                                                                      cause we lacked important information on
                                                                                                                                          women’s reasons for not obtaining dental care



May 2004, Vol 94, No. 5 | American Journal of Public Health                                                               Lydon-Rochelle et al. | Peer Reviewed | Research and Practice | 769
                                                                            RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 


    TABLE 3—Risk of Dental Problems Associated With Selected Characteristics, by Receipt or                                                  (e.g., perceived fear of harm to their fetus), our
    Nonreceipt of Dental Care During Pregnancy: Washington State PRAMS Study, 2000                                                           ability to examine behavioral determinants was
                                                                                                                                             limited. Finally, nonrespondents were more
                                                                Received Dental Care                  Did Not Receive Dental Care            likely to be multiparous, unmarried, and Black
                                    a
                   Characteristic                             OR                95% CI                 OR                 95% CI             and less likely to have completed high school
    Income (monthly), $ b                                                                                                                    than respondents, raising the possibility of non-
       < 1200                                                1.11             0.46, 2.67              1.44              0.61, 3.38           response bias. However, because nonrespon-
       1200–2099                                             2.32             1.01, 5.34              0.77              0.32, 1.86           dents were similar, in terms of demographic
       2100–2999                                             1.00                                     1.00                                   characteristics, to respondents who did not
       ≥ 3000                                                0.55             0.26, 1.15              0.37              0.16, 0.87           have optimal dental care, we believe that such
    WIC participationc                                                                                                                       a bias would underestimate the reported risks.
       Yes                                                   1.62             0.83, 3.18              1.37              0.68, 2.77              Despite these limitations, our findings
       No                                                    1.00                                     1.00                                   should illustrate to health care providers and
    Prenatal care payer c                                                                                                                    public health clinics that pregnant women fre-
       Medicaid                                              2.24             1.14, 4.38              0.87              0.39, 1.94           quently do not obtain dental care and have
       Insurance/HMO                                         1.00                                     1.00                                   unmet dental care needs. Our findings also
       Self-pay                                              0.57             0.10, 3.17              0.32              0.04, 2.58           suggest several important clinical and public
       Military                                              1.40             0.41, 4.78              0.99              0.24, 4.08           health interventions. Since 83.4% of all
       Other                                                 2.50             0.80, 7.83              1.07              0.35, 3.28           women begin prenatal care in their first tri-
    Trimester prenatal care initiatedd                                                                                                       mester, our results may encourage the devel-
       First                                                 1.00                                     1.00                                   opment of strategies for early identification of
       Second or third                                       0.71             0.35, 1.44              0.60              0.32, 1.13           risk factors among women who have dental
       No care                                                ...                                     2.76              0.33, 22.97          care problems or do not receive dental care.32
    Prenatal care sitee                                                                                                                         Providers and public health clinics already
       Private physician’s office/HMO clinic                 1.00                                     1.00                                   have an established role in the prevention and
       Hospital clinic                                       0.98             0.42, 2.87              1.62              0.56, 4.66           early identification of health problems and
       Health department clinic                              1.09             0.42, 2.87              1.62              0.56, 4.66           routinely discuss a variety of topics; this role
       Community or migrant health center                    0.81             0.17, 3.96              1.39              0.32, 5.94           could be expanded to include provision of
       Other                                                 0.81             0.31, 2.11              0.73              0.29, 1.80           counseling and screening on oral health and
    Counseled on oral health care                                                                                                            dental care in early pregnancy. Surprisingly,
       Yes                                                   1.00                                     1.00                                   54% of the women taking part in our study
       No                                                    0.95             0.56, 1.60              1.12              0.55, 2.26           reported that they had not been counseled on
    Body mass index, kg/m2c                                                                                                                  how to care for their teeth and gums, and the
       < 18.5 (underweight)                                  2.33             0.87, 6.22              1.20              0.39, 3.68
                                                                                                                                             overall frequency of pregnant women not re-
       18.5–24.9 (normal)                                    1.00                                     1.00
                                                                                                                                             ceiving dental care during pregnancy was rel-
       25.0–29.9 (overweight)                                1.65             0.89, 3.05              0.92              0.45, 1.85
                                                                                                                                             atively high. Since dental diseases are pre-
       ≥ 30.0 (obese)                                        1.31             0.66, 2.60              1.17              0.61, 2.25
                                                                                                                                             ventable, maternity care providers have a
    Smoked before pregnancy f
                                                                                                                                             unique opportunity during routine prenatal
       Yes                                                   1.72             0.86, 3.44              1.69              0.88, 3.26
                                                                                                                                             visits to provide simple, preventive counseling
       No                                                    1.00                                     1.00
                                                                                                                                             on oral health. At a minimum, providers
    Smoked during last 3 months of pregnancy g
                                                                                                                                             should advise women about proper care (e.g.,
       Yes                                                   2.63             0.90, 7.69              1.15              0.54, 2.45
                                                                                                                                             flossing and brushing).33 Our results indicate a
       No                                                    1.00                                     1.00
                                                                                                                                             need for repeated screening of women at
    Ever smokedg
                                                                                                                                             greater risk of unmet oral care needs, particu-
       Yes                                                   2.63             1.13,6.19               1.10              0.52, 2.34
       No                                                    1.00                                     1.00
                                                                                                                                             larly women who are obese or smoke.
                                                                                                                                                Because, to our knowledge, no US general
    Note. WIC = Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; OR = odds ratio; CI = confidence interval.          population–based surveys oversample preg-
    a
      Reference group: women who reported no dental problems during pregnancy.
    b
      Adjusted for mother’s race and education.                                                                                              nant women or provide sufficient dental care
    c
      Adjusted for mother’s education and monthly income.                                                                                    information on a representative sample of
    d
    e
      Adjusted for mother’s monthly income.                                                                                                  such women,34 and because the PRAMS
      Adjusted for mother’s race, education, and monthly income.
    f
     Adjusted for mother’s marital status, race, and age.                                                                                    state-based population-based surveillance
    g
      Adjusted for mother’s race and monthly income.                                                                                         system is the closest we have to a national
                                                                                                                                             surveillance system, refinement of the dental



770 | Research and Practice | Peer Reviewed | Lydon-Rochelle et al.                                                                   American Journal of Public Health | May 2004, Vol 94, No. 5
                                                                    RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 


care questions merits further consideration.                    the authors helped to conceptualize ideas, interpret        16. Maternal and Child Health Assessment Section.
Redesigned comprehensive questions with es-                     findings, and review drafts of the article.                 Washington State Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring
                                                                                                                            System. Olympia, Wash: Washington State Dept of
tablished psychometric properties regarding                                                                                 Health; 2000.
                                                                Acknowledgment
preventive and reparative care and dental in-                   This study was funded by a grant from the University        17. Forslund HB, Lindroos AK, Blomkvist K, et al.
surance coverage would provide more useful                      of Washington Research and Intramural Fund.                 Number of teeth, body mass index, and dental anxiety
                                                                                                                            in middle-aged Swedish women. Acta Odontol Scand.
information amenable to intervention and
                                                                                                                            2002;60:346–352.
program planning. Also, explorations of link-                   Human Participant Protection
                                                                                                                            18. Sheiham A, Steele JG, Marcenes W, Finch S,
                                                                The Human Subjects Protection Review Board of the
ages between PRAMS and dental claims data                                                                                   Walls AW. The relationship between oral health status
                                                                State of Washington Department of Health approved
may allow not only evaluation of temporal is-                                                                               and body mass index among older people: a national
                                                                this study for minimal risk status.
                                                                                                                            survey of older people in Great Britain. Br Dent J.
sues surrounding dental care use but also de-                                                                               2002;192:703–706.
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Mona T. Lydon-Rochelle is with the Department of Family                                                                     status of children and adolescents by rural residence,
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                                                                                                                            United States. J Rural Health. 2003;19:260–268.
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Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle. Paula
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Krakowiak is with the Department of Epidemiology, School of
                                                                birth weight. J Periodontol. 2001;72:1491–1497.             Dent Assoc. 2003;134:479–486.
Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Wash-
ington. Philippe P. Hujoel is with the Department of Epidemi-   11. Soderling E, Isokangas P, Pienihakkinen K,              30. Stewart DC, Ortega AN, Dausey D, Rosenheck R.
ology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and      Tenovuo J. Influence of maternal xylitol consumption        Oral health and use of dental services among Hispan-
the Departments of Dental Public Health Sciences and Oral       on acquisition of mutans streptococci by infants. J Dent    ics. J Public Health Dent. 2002;62:84–91.
Medicine, School of Dentistry, University of Washington.        Res. 2000;79:882–887.                                       31. Manski RJ, Edelstein BL, Moeller JF. The impact of
Riley M. Peters is with the Office of Maternal and Child        12. Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health. Washing-       insurance coverage on children’s dental visits and expen-
Health, Washington State Department of Health, Olympia.         ton, DC: US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2000.        ditures, 1996. J Am Dent Assoc. 2001;132:1137–1145.
    Requests for reprints should be sent to Mona T. Lydon-                                                                  32. Martin JA, Park MM, Sutton PD. Births: Prelimi-
                                                                13. Baeten JM, Bukusi EA, Lambe M. Pregnancy compli-
Rochelle, PhD, MPH, CNM, Mailstop 357262, University                                                                        nary Data for 2001. Hyattsville, Md: National Center
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minot@u.washington.edu).
                                                                14. Cnattingius S, Lambe M. Trends in smoking and           33. Mills LW, Moses DT. Oral health during preg-
    This article was accepted November 3, 2003.
                                                                overweight during pregnancy: prevalence, risks of preg-     nancy. Am J Maternal Child Nurs. 2002;27:275–280.
                                                                nancy complications, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.        34. Berg CJ, Bruce FC, Callahan WM. From mortality
Contributors                                                    Semin Perinatol. 2002;26:286–295.                           to morbidity: the challenge of the twenty-first century.
M. T. Lydon-Rochelle conceived the study and super-             15. Gilbert B, Shulman HB, Fischer LA, Rogers MM.           J Am Med Womens Assoc. 2002;57:173–174.
vised all aspects of its completion. P. Krakowiak and           The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System:            35. Spiekerman CF, Hujoel PP, DeRouen TA. Bias in-
R. M. Peters assisted with the programming and analy-           methods and 1996 response rates from 11 states. Ma-         duced by self-reported smoking on periodontitis-systemic
ses. P. P. Hujoel assisted with data interpretation. All of     ternal Child Health J. 1999;3:199–209.                      disease associations. J Dent Res. 2003;82:345–349.



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