Evaluation of oral health among pregnant women in a Nigerian population
Objective: This study evaluates the oral health knowledge and practise among pregnant women in a Nigerian population. Consecutive pregnant women attending three tertiary level of care were recruited. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to assessing socio-demographic variables, dental visiting habits, oral hygiene habits and oral health awareness.
Results Four hundred and eighty participated in this study out of which 263 (54.8%) had low oral health knowledge and had never visited dentist before 362 (75.4%). The odds of having high oral hygiene knowledge increased by about 2 folds when the respondent is older than 35 years compared to less than 20 years. Also, the likelihood of having high oral hygiene knowledge increased by 127% if the respondents had oral disease compared to those without oral disease. Presence of gum swelling has 3 folds increase on oral hygiene knowledge than those without it. Dental visit has the odd of increasing oral hygiene knowledge by 5 folds compared with non visiting. Also, the likelihood of practising high oral hygiene reduced by 82% if the respondent visited dentist when had complaint compared to those who had visited dentist only once. Respondents who had been advised by a dentist on oral hygiene before were 146% more likely to have high oral hygiene in pregnancy when compared with those who had not been advised before.
Conclusion: The oral health knowledge of the pregnant women was very low. Hence, a special dental program should be designed to meet the needs of the pregnant women.
Key words: Pregnant women oral knowledge and practise