Recently, serious considerations regarding mental health conditions and their impact on the whole organism have been made. This area is still quite unknown within the dental community, despite the potential impact these conditions can have on both oral care and health. Previous studies have concluded that both pregnant women and mothers have been found to be particularly sensitive to the risk of developing mental disorders such as anxiety and major depression. There is a very high possibility for the children of these mothers to experience neglect and disregard due to of the development of these conditions, which will negatively affect their behavioural and physical growth as a result.
This impact stretches into oral health as well, as these children have been reported to be more inclined to develop early childhood caries, bruxism, and after-birth enamel defects, in addition to illnesses like diabetes and disabilities.
Material and methods
A literature search was conducted in Pubmed, Medline, and Scopus for the keywords ‘maternal depression’, ‘oral health’ and ‘children’, combined with ‘AND’ or ‘OR’ Boolean Operators.
Ten studies with observational design (cohort and cross sectional) and their corresponding literature review articles were included. Of these, 4 were cross-sectional studies, 3 were cohort studies, 1 was a review and 2 were secondary analysis. Table 1 clusters and briefly unfolds all of them.
The results of the present literature suggest a strong connection between maternal mental disorders and poor children’s oral care, and as a result, dental professionals should be extremely careful when treating and communicating with these patients.
Vol.24 – n.2/2023
Harvard: F.S. Ludovichetti, A. Zuccon, G. Zambon, A.G. Signoriello, N. Zerman, E. Stellini, P. Lucchi, S. Mazzoleni (2023) "Maternal mental health and children oral health: a literature review", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 24(2), pp99-103. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2023.1833
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