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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 396-402

Oral health, nutritional knowledge, and practices among pregnant women and their awareness relating to adverse pregnancy outcomes

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, New Horizon Dental College and Research Institute, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Burn and Trauma Centre, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Mathikere Sampige Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ravleen Nagi
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, New Horizon Dental College and Research Institute, Sakri, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaomr.JIAOMR_246_15

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Introduction: Oral health is often neglected by pregnant females, and physicians should evaluate and educate pregnant women regarding the routine dental checkups to prevent complications. Periodontitis is associated with preterm birth and low birth weight babies, and high levels of cariogenic bacteria in the oral cavity of the mother leads to dental caries in infants. Most of the pregnant women are unaware of periodontal diseases during pregnancy because of lack of knowledge. Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the oral health-related awareness and practice among pregnant women in Bilaspur city. In addition, we assessed the knowledge of mothers towards nutrition during pregnancy because adequate prenatal nutrition is one of the most important environmental factors affecting the health of pregnant women and their babies. Materials and Methods: The study was a cross-sectional study. A total of 446 samples were selected by convenience sampling technique. A questionnaire containing 12 questions related to knowledge and practices pertaining to oral health and 12 questions related to diet and nutrition along with sociodemographic data were used for collecting information. Analysis were conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows (version 20.0, SPSS Inc., Chicago IL, USA). Results: Majority of women (74%) were not aware about periodontal diseases, which is common during pregnancy. Only 44.9% were aware which period was safe for dental treatment, and 33.4% were aware that exposure to high dose radiation is dangerous to the baby. A total of 50.1% experienced bleeding from gums during pregnancy; 99.8% maintained their oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and 96.8% visited dentist twice yearly. Concerning nutritional awareness, pregnant patients were aware of the meaning of food (40.1%) and the importance of food (45.5%), balanced (47%), and healthy diet (43.9%). They had adequate knowledge regarding requirement of food for proper functioning of the body (59.9%) as well as for fighting infections (67.2%). Knowledge regarding sources of carbohydrates/proteins, iron, zinc, vitamin A and iodine was low in our patients. Conclusion: The results suggest that knowledge and practices of pregnant women should be improved for better pregnancy outcomes. It requires proper coordinated effort between oral health and prenatal communities for maternal and child's oral health outcomes. Nutritional education programs should be carried out by medical centres, which should be directed towards women in rural areas.

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