Oral and dental health care practices in pregnant women in Australia: A postnatal survey

Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Adelaide, SA, Australia.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (Impact Factor: 2.19). 02/2008; 8(1):13. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2393-8-13
Source: PubMed


The aims of this study were to assess women's knowledge and experiences of dental health in pregnancy and to examine the self-care practices of pregnant women in relation to their oral health.
Women in the postnatal ward at the Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, completed a questionnaire to assess their knowledge, attitudes and practices to periodontal health. Pregnancy outcomes were collected from their medical records. Results were analysed by chi-square tests, using SAS.
Of the 445 women enrolled in the survey, 388 (87 per cent) completed the questionnaire. Most women demonstrated reasonable knowledge about dental health. There was a significant association between dental knowledge and practices with both education and socio-economic status. Women with less education and lower socio-economic status were more likely to be at higher risk of poor periodontal health compared with women with greater levels of education and higher socioeconomic status.
Most women were knowledgeable about oral and dental health. Lack of knowledge about oral and dental health was strongly linked to women with lower education achievements and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Whether more intensive dental health education in pregnancy can lead to improved oral health and ultimately improved pregnancy outcomes requires further study.


Available from: Philippa Middleton
  • Source
    • "Considering the poor general health status ofthe mothers, it is plausible that the oral health might also be compromised [3]. Numerous studies exist in the literature assessing the gingival and periodontal diseases, [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] dental caries, [14] [15] [16] [17] oral health related quality of life [18] [19] [20] and dental service utilization [21] [22] among pregnant and post-partum women. But the literature comparing oral health among non-pregnant women, expectant mothers and mothers of newborns and children appears seemingly scant. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate oral health among women which would provide a baseline data to develop preventive and educational programmes. Material and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out within the municipal corporation limits of Udupi district among women attending/visiting government and private hospital for antenatal checkup , checkup for their new born or the accompanying persons visiting the hospitals. Age, type of health care system, previous pregnancy was collected at the time of enrollment in the study. This was followed by recording of Community Periodontal Index and Loss of Attachment (CPI and LOA) for periodontal diseases and Decayed, Missing, Filled Tooth (DMFT) Index for dental caries. Results: A total of 1004 women (508 government and 496 private hospital) participated in this study. There was a significant difference in the periodontal status (mean CPI and LOA) among the three types of women (p<0.001 and <0.001). Post-hoc analysis showed that the expectant mothers had highest mean CPI and LOA followed by mothers with least mean score in non-pregnant women. There was a significant difference in the caries status (mean DT, MT, DMFT) among the three types of women (p=0.02, <0.001 and <0.001) however, no significant difference was seen with respect to mean filled tooth (FT). Post-hoc analysis showed that the expectant mothers and mothers had higher mean DT than non – pregnant women. Interestingly, it was seen that mothers had higher mean MT than expectant mothers and non-pregnant women. The overall mean DMFT score was significantly higher for mothers followed by expectant mothers with least being in non-pregnant women. Conclusion: A clear understanding of hormonal changes and its role in oral health and disease is needed for all the health care providers. Women in the reproductive age and who were expecting pregnancy should have thorough oral health screening and treatment.
    • "There was a noticeable lack of knowledge of child oral health among pregnant women in Dunedin, particularly among those who were younger, fi rst-time mothers or of low SES. These fi ndings were consistent with other studies in Australia and the USA regarding mothers' knowledge of oral health and hygiene for their children (Finlayson et al., 2005; Akpabio et al., 2008; Thomas et al., 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To be maximally effective, oral health preventive strategies should start at birth. There appear to be few reports on pregnant women's knowledge of oral health care for their developing children. This exploratory study assessed Dunedin expectant mothers' knowledge of the oral health care of their future children. A questionnaire was developed to assess expectant mothers' knowledge of child oral health and appropriate prevention strategies. Three public Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) organisations and 30 private individual LMCs were asked to distribute the questionnaire to their clients attending appointments during a one-month period. Questions focused on the mother's knowledge of oral health practices for their future children, including oral hygiene and access to dental care. Fewer than half of the participants thought they had enough information about their child's oral health needs. One-quarter thought that toothbrushing should not start until after two years of age. The majority thought their child should not be seen by a dental professional until this age, while one-fifth did not think their child should be seen until four years old. Poorer child oral health knowledge was found in first-time mothers, younger women, those from low-SES groups, and those who were not New Zealand (NZ) Europeans. A substantial number of participants were unaware of how to provide appropriate oral health care for their children despite the available information. This lack of awareness needs to be taken into account when designing oral health promotion strategies for parents of very young children.
    The New Zealand dental journal 12/2012; 108(4):129-33.
  • Source
    • "" This percentage usually ranges from 15% [14] to 59.5% [22] [23]. With regard to halitosis, 40.3% reported having " bad breath; " this percentage was 26.5% in another recent study [23]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate the relationship among self-reported oral hygiene habits, dental decay, and periodontal condition among pregnant women. In a cross-sectional study, a structured questionnaire and dental examination were used to assess pregnant women's knowledge of oral health and attitudes to oral hygiene, in addition to their dental and periodontal condition. Data were collected from 337 pregnant women living in Murcia in southeast Spain. The questionnaire was completed by 337 women, 282 of whom also had an oral examination. More than 57% were in their first pregnancy, their mean age was 30 years, and most (80.1%) were Spanish with a medium-high educational level. Most of the pregnant woman (84%) brushed their teeth 2 or 3 times a day, and a third (30.9%) used a mouthwash daily. The pregnant women who self-reported having good or very good dental health had a lower level of active decay (P < 0.001) and a lower periodontal index (P < 0.001). In the present study, there was a significant correlation between a high level of self-reported oral health in pregnant women and low levels of dental decay and low periodontal indexes.
    International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 07/2011; 114(1):18-22. DOI:10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.03.003 · 1.54 Impact Factor
Show more