Knowledge and Practices of Pregnant Women regarding Oral Health in A Tertiary Care Hospital in Nepal
Introduction: Poor dental hygiene has been associated with various perinatal complications in studies
done worldwide but few studies in Nepal have explored the knowledge of pregnant ladies regarding
dental hygiene. The aim of the study was to know the knowledge and practices of pregnant women
regarding oral health in a tertiary care center in Nepal.
Methods: A qualitative study was carried out in Nobel Medical College and Teaching Hospital from
January 15, 2018 to June 15, 2018 after approval from the Institutional Review Committee of Nobel
Medical College. Convenience sampling was done. Fifty pregnant women admitted in antenatal
ward were interviewed regarding their knowledge of dental care in pregnancy, the common dental
problems they faced and the treatment taken. A predesigned proforma was used and results were
analyzed using SPSS version 17.
Results: Twenty two (44%) patients reported dental problems during pregnancy. Bleeding gums
was seen in 7 (14%) and toothache in 7 (14%) were commonly reported dental problems. Forty seven
(94%) patients acknowledged that routine dental care was needed for health, only 6 (12%) were
aware that poor dental health could affect baby weight. Oral health not seen as priority in 24 (48%)
was the main barrier to seeking dental care in pregnancy followed by costs of treatment in 18 (36%)
and safety concerns in pregnancy in 8 (16%) cases.
Conclusions: Though dental problems were a common occurrence in pregnancy, utilization of
services was low for the same. The participants reported significant barriers to obtaining dental care
including lack of knowledge about the importance of maternal oral health and the treatment costs.
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