Purpose: Several studies demonstrated compromised oral health and periodontal diseases as risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, consideration of oral health by pregnant women remains elusive. The aim of this study was to evaluate knowledge and behaviour of French pregnant women towards relationship between oral conditions and pregnancy outcomes and to evaluate influencing factors.
Keywords: oral health, questionnaire, prevention, risk factor
Materials and Methods: A self-reported questionnaire was given to women between 1 and 3 days after delivery in three specialised clinics in France. The questionnaire aimed to evaluate demographic characteristics, self-perceived oral health, type of pregnancy follow-up and knowledge regarding oral conditions during pregnancy and risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. A multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate correlation between knowledge and behaviour.
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 212 women. Among them, 92% considered prevention of oral diseases during pregnancy important. Despite knowledge of potential negative influence of periodontal diseases on pregnancy outcomes, only 47% of pregnant women received dental diagnosis or treatment during pregnancy. Only 18% of the women discussed oral health consideration during pregnancy with health professional in charge of pregnancy follow-up. Interestingly, absence of dental consultation during pregnancy was associated with low rate of dental consultation prior to pregnancy (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Pregnant women were aware of the association between oral health and pregnancy and of need of prevention. However, consideration of importance of oral health was not adequate to the rate of dental consultation and seems to be influenced by individual dental follow-up habits prior to pregnancy. Clinical Relevance: Dental evaluation should be considered systematically during pregnancy follow-up.