Preterm birth during pregnancy may be associated with periodontal health status. Further studies evaluating the mechanism and potential interventions may be beneficial to more fully understanding this interaction. Maternal health and demographics as well as genetic and fetal factors play a role in preterm birth risk. Understanding and identifying patients at high risk for preterm birth and establishing optimal oral health for them may improve not only their oral health but also their risks during pregnancy. 

Currently, the science is clear that establishing optimal oral health prior to or during pregnancy is important, and patients should establish a dental home care regimen and continue to receive routine dental care during pregnancy.  Furthermore, pregnancy may offer a unique opportunity to influence behavioral changes to improve oral hygiene in patients with a high risk for oral diseases.