ORAL HEALTH STATUS OF PREGNANT WOMEN & AWARENESS ABOUT ORAL HEALTH AMONG PREGNANT PATIENTS AND GYNECOLOGISTS
Pregnancy is a physiological condition with multiple oral health outcomes such as gingivitis, gingival enlargement, salivary alterations and dental caries. Poor oral hygieneincreases the risk of complications during pregnancy including preterm delivery, low birth weight, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and stillbirth. Pregnant women are usually unaware of the consequences of oral health problems. Gynecologists play a unique role in providing health care to pregnant women. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the oral health status and awareness of oral health among pregnant women and gynecologists attending a government hospital gynecology ward in Lahore, Pakistan. It was a cross-sectional study. The study sample consisted of 220 healthy women of age 18-31 years. Divided into 2 groups; 110 healthy pregnant women were considered. 110 women who were not pregnant were used as the control group. The clinical examination was done based on WHO criteria for periodontal assessment and PH of the saliva was also measured. Pregnant women were interviewed according to a questionnaire and documented in a specially designed Proforma. Another questionnaire was given to 60 clinicians working in the gynecological ward and responses were recorded in a separate Proforma. The clinical manifestations showed statistical significance values for oral health problems as compared to nonpregnant women. There were only 14.5% of pregnant women who consulted a dentist for their oral health problems during pregnancy and only 35% of the clinicians have advised their patients regarding maintenance of good oral hygiene and routine dental checkups during pregnancy. This study showed lack of awareness in pregnant women. It also showed the presence of misconceptions among gynecologists regarding dental treatment.
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