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J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2014 Dec;4(Suppl 3):S166-72. doi: 10.4103/2231-0762.149028.

Gynecologists' knowledge and attitudes regarding oral health and periodontal disease leading to adverse pregnancy outcomes.

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1
Department of Growth and Development, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the knowledge and practiced behaviors of gynecologists regarding oral health care during pregnancy and the association of periodontal disease with adverse pregnancy outcomes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A questionnaire consisting of 16 questions was designed and pilot tested. One hundred and fifty gynecologists practicing in the private sector of United Arab Emirates (UAE) were approached to voluntarily participate and fill up the questionnaire during February-March 2014. Data retrieved were entered into Excel database and analyzed using SPSS.

RESULTS:

Of the 150 gynecologists approached, 108 filled the questionnaire, yielding a response rate of 72%. The majority (95.4%) acknowledged a connection between oral health and pregnancy and 75.9% agreed that periodontal disease can affect the outcome of pregnancy. Moreover, most of the gynecologists (85.2%) advised their pregnant patients to visit the dentist during pregnancy. Almost three-quarter of the participants (73%) regarded dental radiographs to be unsafe during pregnancy and more than half (59.3%) considered administration of local anesthesia to be unsafe during pregnancy.

CONCLUSION:

The present study demonstrated that gynecologists have a relatively high degree of knowledge with respect to the relationship of periodontal disease to pregnancy outcome. However, there clearly exist misconceptions regarding the provision of dental treatment during pregnancy. To provide better oral health care, more knowledge needs to be made available to the pregnant women and the medical community, and misconceptions regarding the types of dental treatments during pregnancy should be clarified.

KEYWORDS:

Adverse pregnancy outcomes; gynecologists; oral health; periodontal disease

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