Lauren Gritzer, MPH, is a Doctor of Dental Surgery candidate at the University of Maryland (UMB). She received a B.S. in Biological Anthropology with a minor in studio fine arts from the George Washington University. She then received her MPH with a concentration in Population and Community Health from UMB. While completing her MPH, she volunteered for a school-based sealant program, which was the focus of her thesis. She has also been a clinical researcher at Johns Hopkins and UCSF. She is an ADEA Academic Dental Careers Fellow, former Vice President of ASDA, and current President of AAPHD at Maryland.

The Importance of Oral Health During Pregnancy

Pregnant women are considered to be a vulnerable population. Many women carry a misconceived notion that visiting the dentist during pregnancy is unsafe. This, compounded with apprehension and lack of guidance from health care professionals, causes many pregnant women to forgo receiving dental care. In the last few years, new recommendations have been released to provide more comprehensive care during pregnancy. Why is treating this population essential, and what are the long-term implications of treating this population and their families? Pregnancy is a time when complex physiological changes, if not managed properly, may adversely impact oral health. The healthcare delivery system needs to adapt to the new guidelines and improve the overall standard of care.


  • Recognize the importance and implications of treating this population
  • Discover the oral health status of pregnant women and issues preventing improvement
  • Identify what the prenatal providers’ role is for care
  • Comprehend how to treat and counsel pregnant patients