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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-54

A study of obstetricians' knowledge, attitudes and practices in oral health and pregnancy

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Barwala, Haryana, India
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Neelam Aggarwal
Assistant Prof., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PGIMER, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.134313

Background: Many studies have reported an association between periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes, but there has been little research on the knowledge of obstetricians regarding oral care. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes of practicing obstetricians in India about the relationship between oral health and pregnancy outcomes, as well as their practice behaviors regarding oral healthcare in pregnant women in Indian settings. Methods: A structured online questionnaire was sent to 130 obstetricians in the city of Chandigarh and adjoining areas of the union territory. The questionnaire was prepared by dentists and obstetricians and was validated in a prior pilot study. Obstetricians' knowledge of the effects of pregnancy on oral health, and vice versa, were correlated with their experience and practices. Results: A total of 79.2% responded to the questionnaire. More than 70% of respondent obstetricians correctly knew of the effects of periodontitis on preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Only 40% recommended dental examination during pregnancy and 47% advised patients about oral care during pregnancy. There were significant correlations between knowledge of dental health effects on pregnancy and referrals of patients to dentists. Conclusions: This study found that although obstetricians generally were knowledgeable about appropriate dental care practices during pregnancy as well as the relationship between oral health and pregnancy outcomes, this knowledge often did not translate into appropriate practice behavior.

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