Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Commissions
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share

ADA supports Oral Health for Moms Act

Legislation would expand dental coverage during pregnancy, postpartum

April 19, 2021

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The ADA is supporting new legislation aimed at expanding dental coverage for women during pregnancy and postpartum recovery.

In an April 15 letter to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, D.M.D., thanked the lawmaker for introducing S 560, the Oral Health for Moms Act.

“Good oral health is an important part of good overall health, which is especially important during pregnancy and postpartum as untreated dental disease can be harmful to mother and baby,” Drs. Klemmedson and O’Loughlin wrote.

In the letter, Drs. Klemmedson and O’Loughlin explained that women are more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy, which left untreated can progress to more severe types of gum disease, tooth loss and also have potential implications on general health.

“Untreated decay in new moms can translate to their newborn infants acquiring bacteria that puts them at higher risk for severe forms of tooth decay,” wrote Drs. Klemmedson and O’Loughlin, noting that gum disease during pregnancy has been linked to premature labor and low birth weight babies.

The ADA also suggested that the Dental Quality Alliance be named specifically as an entity advising the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding appropriate dental quality measures in Medicaid. The Association also said identifying the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare ProView as the single source for credentialing data collection could reduce administrative burdens for providers by streamlining the credentialing process.

Follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/advocacy.