ASSESSMENT OF THE ORAL HYGIENE PRACTICES IN PREGNANT FEMALES AND THEIR KNOWLEDGE REGARDING EFFECT OF PERIODONTITIS ON PREGNANCY
Extensive literature has been presented linking various hormonal changes during pregnancy with increased inflammation of periodontium and higher prevalence of dental caries. Therefore, meticulous oral hygiene practice is of utmost importance during this period. Some local studies have highlighted the lack of oral health knowledge among pregnant females and scarcity of oral health assessments in prenatal care visits.
The aim of the study was to assess the oral health practice among pregnant women and their awareness of relation between periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
A cross-sectional study included 260 pregnant women after excluding incomplete questionnaires. The data was collected from two regional hospitals. And the questionnaire consisted of 13 questions. The information collected was then analyzed and presented as descriptive statistics in the form of tables and figures. The results showed that the percentage of women using paste with tooth brush increased from 74.6% to 79.4%. About 20% of participants were using miswak (wooden stick) as a teeth cleaning tool. More than half of the participants using tooth brush (52.9%) changed their brush once in three months and majority of the participants rinsed after eating. Only 1.5% of pregnant women were aware about relation of periodontitis with adverse pregnancy outcomes and 9.2% had awareness about fluoridated toothpaste.
The awareness regarding link of maternal oral hygiene with adverse pregnancy outcomes and use of fluoridated tooth pastes was limited. Enhancing and integrating education about oral health into Gynae/obstetrics curriculum will improve the oral health care of pregnant women in future.
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