Oklahoma Community Health Services


“Oral Health Program for Low Income Pregnant Women and Their Babies”

Periodontitis is at epidemic levels among women who live in poverty in Oklahoma and nationally. During pregnancy, due to hormonal changes and increased bacteria in the mouth due to vomiting, this condition worsens and leads to adverse conditions. Maternal infection is a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes. For years, evidence suggested that chronic oral infection in pregnant women led to preterm birth and/or low-birth weight infants. As important is new evidence that proves that the pregnant woman actually pass oral health disease to the child as a contagious disease–not through genetics. Dental Caries remains the number one childhood disease and accounts for a loss of 51 million classroom hours each year.

Oral Tooth Decay is almost 100% preventable. When the mother’s mouth is restored during and shortly after pregnancy and parent education is provided to the new mother, the child’s risk for tooth decay goes down significantly. Community Health Centers nationwide have evidence based clinical outcomes that prove this model will work. The change in clinical results in children for the better is a suggested 500-800% improvement shown in similar collaboratives serving the same population. Our medical and dental providers working together can expand the availability of prenatal and infant oral health care and education to those that are uninsured and underinsured living at 100% of poverty.


Currently, we provide pre-natal care to 1,200 pregnant women each year with 400 deliveries. In our current population, more than 90% of pregnant women need treatment for disease. The impact of this grant over five years would touch the lives of 1,600 children and their siblings estimated at 6,400. Through this proven model of integrated care we can impact these families for a lifetime in school work, activities, socialization, job prospects and self esteem. It starts with Mom getting what she needs.

To learn more, visit Oklahoma Community Health Services at