|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 52
Recommendations for improvement of oral health awareness in pregnant women
Dental Students Research Center, School of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
|Date of Web Publication||8-Apr-2015|
Dental Students Research Center, School of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Soltani P. Recommendations for improvement of oral health awareness in pregnant women. J Dent Res Rev 2015;2:52
In the JDRR article (vol. 1, issue 2) oral health awareness and experience was assessed among a group of Nigerian pregnant women in the article entitled "Oral health awareness and experience among pregnant women in a Nigerian tertiary health institution." The article concluded that oral health awareness among the subjects was poor, and a sizeable number of pregnant women experienced oral health problems during pregnancy. In addition, the authors declared a need for the development of guidelines for promoting referral of pregnant women for dental consultation.
During pregnancy, the oral cavity is vulnerable to several problems, as a result of physical and hormonal changes. In addition, pregnant women may neglect oral hygiene habits as a result of emotional and physical problems. This may lead to an increase in several oral and dental complications among this group. It is suggested that factors such as lower gingival health, gingival bleeding, and more calculus may be effective on low birth weight.  Thus preserving oral health during pregnancy is of considerable importance.
Obstetricians in some cases are the sole health care personnel that most pregnant women visit. Thus, they are in a highly suitable position for diagnosis of oral problems and informing pregnant women regarding the importance of oral health during pregnancy. Cunningham et al.  revealed that almost half of the obstetricians do not have enough time for oral examinations. Moreover, another study showed that although obstetricians have some information about the importance of oral and dental health during pregnancy, less than half of them rarely or never recommend dental examinations.  Thus, educating obstetricians regarding oral and dental complications and the importance of referring the patients to the dentist may be effective in the improvement of oral health awareness among pregnant women.
Inadequate education of obstetricians regarding oral health and problems during their university courses may be considered as an important factor. Moreover, lack of coordination between obstetricians and dental clinics may be another obstacle. Thus, providing proper oral and dental educational courses for obstetricians may improve their practice of oral examination and referral to the dentist if needed. Distribution of educational pamphlets covering oral health instructions in offices of obstetricians may improve oral health awareness of pregnant women. In addition, coordination and cooperation of obstetric and dental clinics may facilitate referral of patients. These measures along with the development of appropriate guidelines for oral health in pregnancy, may be helpful in the improvement of oral and dental health in pregnant women, and thus may prevent subsequent complications.
| References|| |
Dasanayake AP. Poor periodontal health of the pregnant woman as a risk factor for low birth weight. Ann Periodontol 1998;3:206-12.
Cunningham G, DeBlase D, Wearden S, Crout R. Evaluation of a patient's oral status by ob/gyn physicians needs assessment. J Dent Res 2000;79:2770.
Wilder R, Robinson C, Jared HL, Lieff S, Boggess K. Obstetricians' knowledge and practice behaviors concerning periodontal health and preterm delivery and low birth weight. J Dent Hyg 2007;81:81.