|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 17-19
Knowledge, attitude, and practices of gynecologists regarding perinatal oral health care in Navi Mumbai
Vrushali R Patil, Shilpa Naik
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, D. Y. Patil University School of Dentistry, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
|Date of Submission||16-Feb-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||26-Feb-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||21-May-2020|
Dr. Vrushali R Patil
9, Gandhar Society, near Mehta Hospital, Kulkarni Colony, Nashik 2, Maharashtra.
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: This study aimed to assess knowledge, attitude, and practices among gynecologists regarding oral health care of expectant mothers in Navi Mumbai by using questionnaire. Materials and Methods: A total of 100 gynecologists were selected randomly, and a comprehensive questionnaire was distributed among them. Results: The result showed that majority of the gynecologists had good knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding oral health care. Conclusion: Gynecologist’s attitude and practices can be improved by oral health care–promoting strategies. Oral health care of expectant mother should be addressed by multi-professional approach. Perinatal oral health care should be provided by all gynecologists, and pediatric dentist should be a part of this team.
Keywords: Gynecologist, infant oral health, knowledge, perinatal oral health care
|How to cite this article:|
Patil VR, Naik S. Knowledge, attitude, and practices of gynecologists regarding perinatal oral health care in Navi Mumbai. Int J Oral Care Res 2020;8:17-9
|How to cite this URL:|
Patil VR, Naik S. Knowledge, attitude, and practices of gynecologists regarding perinatal oral health care in Navi Mumbai. Int J Oral Care Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Sep 17];8:17-9. Available from: https://www.ijocr.org/text.asp?2020/8/2/17/284678
| Introduction|| |
Giving birth to the newborn is the most crucial and delicate phase of women’s life in which every stage of pregnancy gives rise to different issues and concerns. General health and well-being of expectant mother is essential during prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal period to restore good health in infant. Prenatal period is from conception to birth, perinatal is the period around the time of birth, beginning with the completion of 20th to 28th week of gestation to first to fourth week after birth, and postnatal period is after birth till sixth week. Development of a tooth begins by sixth week of intrauterine life, after which it undergoes various phases of tooth development, till its eruption in oral cavity. Variations in amniotic fluid composition are caused by maternal diet, which further influences the activation of taste buds in newborn, thus affecting future food choices of the child. Any disturbance in mother’s health during this phase may directly affect the health of a newborn.
Dental caries and periodontal health status are the most common oral health issues, which should be diagnosed and treated in expectant mother as they can give rise to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Association of maternal periodontal disease with preterm delivery and low-birth-weight babies has been established.,, Dental caries causing bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, is transmitted from mother to child by vertical transmission.
Pregnancy is the time when appropriate oral hygiene practices can be instilled in expectant mothers by counseling them regarding the importance of their own as well as infant’s oral hygiene. So, oral health education during this period is beneficial to prevent undesirable outcomes in mothers and to maintain good oral health in infants too. This can be achieved by prenatal counseling of expectant mothers as suggested by Nowak et al.
Though oral health is an integral part of general health, oral diseases are often neglected because of lack of awareness. This negligence is due to lack of implementation not only by patients but also by primary health-care providers such as pediatricians, gynecologists, and general practitioners. Pregnancy is the period in which oral health care should be addressed by multi-professional approach and incorporated into comprehensive health-promoting strategies.,
Gynecologists are the first ones among primary health-care providers involved in the assessment of women throughout their pregnancy so they are important to initiate oral health program along with dentists. Their knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding perinatal oral health care are essential to increase awareness in expectant mothers.
Therefore, this study was designed to assess knowledge, attitude, and practices of gynecologists practicing in Navi Mumbai regarding perinatal oral health care.
| Materials and Methods|| |
This is cross-sectional survey of a study sample consisting of gynecologists of Navi Mumbai. A total of 100 gynecologists working in private sector were selected in the survey.
A pilot study was conducted on total 10% of sample size to check feasibility of the study and to validate the questionnaire.
A structured, closed-ended questionnaire was distributed among gynecologists personally and by Google forms. The responses were collected after a span of 1 week. The data collected were subjected to statistical analysis.
| Results|| |
A total of 100 gynecologists responded to the questionnaire. [Table 1] shows the responses of gynecologists to the questionnaire showing knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding perinatal oral health care.
|Table 1: Responses of gynecologists regarding perinatal oral health care|
Click here to view
Among the respondents, 22% gynecologists were younger than 40 years of age, 60% were between 40 and 50 years of age, and 18% were older than 50 years. It was found that 18% were males and 82% were females. According to the number of years of clinical practice, 20% gynecologists had less than 5 years of clinical experience, 50% had clinical experience between 5 and 10 years, and 30% had more than 10 years of clinical experience.
| Discussion|| |
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry emphasizes on the infant oral health care to build up a foundation for preventive oral health-care strategies. Primary health-care providers, especially gynecologists, should be aware of consequences of untreated oral diseases to reduce complications during this crucial phase. As gynecologists are the first to see the expectant mothers, they may provide screening services for oral diseases, advice to seek dental care, and refer those who are in need for it.
Questionnaire-based survey gathers the collective information about the knowledge and attitude of gynecologists regarding oral health of expectant mothers and whether they are actually able to impart this awareness in their clinical practice.
In our study, gynecologists in the age-group of 40–50 years have better knowledge than others. This is similar to a study conducted by Anand et al.
In this study, only 67% gynecologists were aware of the fact that the prevalence of dental caries is directly related to child’s caries status, as many of them were not aware of the vertical transmission of Streptococcus mutans—the main pathogenic organism responsible for caries development.
Most of the gynecologists showed good knowledge about the relation between periodontal disease and low-birth-weight babies, complications associated with forceps delivery, safe period for dental treatment, nutritional supplements for teeth, adverse effects of antibiotics, and effect of maternal alcohol consumption, smoking, and radiation exposure. This is similar to the findings of a study by Shah et al.
Knowledge about the relation of periodontal diseases with low-birth-weight babies was found to be good (98%), which was very less (38.09%) in a study by Acharya et al. and was 55% in a study by Shenoy et al. Of the total gynecologists, 80% found that examination of the oral cavity should be a part of general examination as others may not find oral health to affect general health, and perinatal oral health counseling was found to be less important as only 75% responded positively to this aspect.
As per our findings, 83% were found to refer to dental specialists, which is more than the findings of a study by Subramaniam et al. and Anand et al. Many gynecologists did not focus on diet counseling specific to oral health, as most of them were not aware about the cariogenic potential of commonly consumed food.
| Conclusion|| |
Gynecologists practicing in Navi Mumbai have shown good knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding oral diseases in expectant mothers; however, their knowledge about vertical transmission and diet causing dental caries was comparatively low, which can be improved by oral health care–promoting strategies. Oral health care of expectant mother should be addressed by multi-professional approach. Perinatal oral health care should be provided by all gynecologists, and pediatric dentist should be part of this team.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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