Periodontal health status and pregnancy outcomes: A survey in medical doctors

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Introduction: Periodontal disease and caries are the most common causes of tooth loss worldwide. Studies have demonstrated strong association between periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Medical doctors, who are the primary healthcare providers, seldom advise women to seek dental care during pregnancy. This study was undertaken to explore the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of medical doctors towards oral health and to identify the barriers of prenatal periodontal healthcare in their practices and its possible implications on pregnancy outcomes. Methods: Total 377 doctors filled the questionnaire. The data collected through personal contacts, social networking, emails, online forms and networking at conferences were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 20 software program and presented in tables, charts and diagrams. Results: Out of 263 (69.8%) male and 114 (30.2%) female doctors enrolled in the study, only 52 (13.8%) had received education or training on oral care during pregnancy. Among them 299 (79.3%) agreed that there is possible link between health of teeth-gums and pregnancy. Approximately 105 (27.9%) encountered patients with oral/periodontal problem every week but only 108 (28.6%) “always” advised their patient for regular dental check-ups. Similarly, 358 (95%) agreed that there is need for universal guidelines. However, 133 (35.3%) thought there was insufficient time to advise patients on oral health during check-ups. Conclusions: There is need for training on ‘oral healthcare during pregnancy’ for medical doctors. Developing universal guidelines for oral healthcare in pregnant women for all health professionals would be another important step. An adequate referral system to oral healthcare providers and biannual check-ups is recommended for both general patient as well as pregnant women for preventing adverse situations related to oral and specifically periodontal diseases.




Gupta, S., Shrestha, B., Gupta, N., Tuladhar, A., Sushil, K. C., & Dhami, B. (2018). Periodontal health status and pregnancy outcomes: A survey in medical doctors. Journal of the Nepal Medical Association, 56(210), 565–571.

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