The aim of our study was to assess patients’ and providers’ knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices related to oral health care during pregnancy at the Obstetrics and Gynecology department of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. A self-administered survey was used to collect information from 50 pregnant women and 24 resident physicians. The results from our study showed that women lacked information about oral hygiene measures both for themselves and for their child. The perceived susceptibility to oral health conditions during pregnancy, like caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis was very low. Women were unaware of the possible consequences of bad oral hygiene measures for themselves as well as for their child. 76% disagreed with the statement that gum disease during pregnancy might lead to premature labor. Only 8% had visited the dentist during their current pregnancy. Common barriers to not visiting a dentist were perceptions of not having any oral health problem (44%), the belief that dental visits were unsafe during pregnancy (16%), and lack of available dental care resources (12%). Resident physicians had fair knowledge about dental treatment protocol but lacked information about dental caries and preventive measures to be followed regarding oral health during prenatal care. During prenatal care, only 18% residents performed a visual mouth inspection, 65% residents had never guided or educated their patients about oral health, and 59% had never referred their patient for a routine dental check-up. Pregnant women should be provided with oral health education as part of their prenatal care and resident physicians should be made aware about the importance of proper oral health counseling for their pregnant patients, so that they can provide them with resources and oral health education as recommended.
Recommended CitationVaid, B.D.S., Megha, "Assessment of Patient and Provider's Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Practices Related to Oral Health Care During Pregnancy." (2010). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 18.