Schools cross disciplines to debunk myths and misinformation about prenatal oral health

In the Gazette, this story details the Prenatal Oral Health Program at UNC, a joint venture of the schools of Dentistry and Medicine that educates students and the public about oral health and pregnancy.

A few months ago, Rocio Quinonez and her pediatric dentistry students were volunteering at a clinic in Durham when Quinonez noticed a very pregnant patient awaiting care.

Quinonez, an associate professor at the School of Dentistry, approached the woman to offer a pamphlet about caring for an infant’s oral health. The patient drew back the corner of her mouth, revealing a row of abscessed teeth. Her oral health had long been neglected, and the situation was dire.

“She told me she’d been repeatedly turned away by dentists who did not think it would be safe to treat a pregnant woman. Other clinics had refused to see her until the baby was born,” Quinonez said.

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