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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 3015-3019

Oral health knowledge among a cohort of pregnant women in south India: A questionnaire survey

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vinayaka Mission's Sankarachariyar Dental College, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Panineeya Institute of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
3 Department of Prosthodontics, KLRs Lenora Institute of Dental Sciences, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, xyi, India
4 Department of Prosthodontics, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S Venkata Lakshmi
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vinayaka Mission Sankarachariyar Dental College, Salem, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_329_20

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Aim: To assess oral health knowledge of pregnant women visiting Government Maternity Hospital, Hyderabad. Materials and Method: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among 606 pregnant women aged 18–40 years old. Oral health knowledge of respondents was assessed using the 14-item self-administered questionnaire and responses were recorded on a dichotomous scale (yes/no). The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) package version 20.0. Results: Overall inadequate knowledge regards to oral health was observed among 55.8% pregnant women. Based on knowledge regarding tooth decay, 71.6% of study participants believed that every painful tooth has to be removed and 81% of respondents were unaware of brushing with fluoridated toothpaste prevents tooth decay. Similarly, with respect to gum disease, 77.7% of subjects were not aware of gum disease and around 49.8% unacquainted that bleeding during tooth brushing indicates gum problems. It is enriching to observe, 94.1% of respondents felt oral health is important for general health. On the other hand, a quite alarmingly high percentage (73.9%) of subjects does not know the relationship between oral health and pregnancy. Furthermore, 91.1% and 65.5% of participants were ignorant that pregnancy can increase the tendency of gums to swell or bleed and poor oral health affect their unborn baby, respectively. More than three-fourths of the study participants (84%) had never visited dentist Conclusion: The study highlights limited knowledge allied to oral health among pregnant women and problem-oriented dental visits indicating an urge among this group to scale up their knowledge.

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