Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the level of knowledge of prenatal health professionals concerning the relationship between periodontal diseases and pregnancy complications, as well as their professional implications in the oral health field.
Schlagwörter: attitude, health knowledge, midwife, obstetrician/gynecologist, practice, periodontal disease, pregnancy
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to obstetricians/gynecologists, interns specialised in obstetrics/gynecology, midwives, and student midwives at Loire Atlantique and Vendée hospitals (France). The questionnaire included 5 sociodemographic questions and 14 questions regarding the level of knowledge about the relationship between periodontal diseases and pregnancy complications as well as the professionals’ level of involvement in oral health care.
Results: Twenty-three obstetricians/gynecologists and 55 midwives responded to the questionnaire. Preterm delivery and chorioamnionitis were the most frequently mentioned complications of pregnancy, whereas the risk of pre-eclampsia was rarely mentioned. Half of the professionals said they were aware of the oral manifestations of pregnancy. Gingivitis and an increased risk of caries were the most frequently mentioned items, whereas epulis was the least frequently mentioned item. The level of involvement of prenatal care practitioners in oral health care was limited due to a lack of competence and time. Nevertheless, 64% of the participants discussed the risks of poor oral hygiene with their patients.
Conclusion: There is good knowledge among French gynecologists/obstetricians and midwives regarding the oral manifestations of pregnancy. However, there is still a lack of knowledge concerning the links between periodontal diseases and pregnancy complications. The involvement and behaviour of pregnancy professionals in the oral health field is inadequate. The present survey highlights the need to improve the initial and continuing education of obstetricians and midwives on this topic.