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ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-69

Oral health awareness and experience among pregnant women in a Nigerian tertiary health institution


Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Braimoh Omoigberai Bashiru
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2348-2915.133936

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Background: Data on oral health experiences among pregnant women in developing countries are lacking. The objective of this study was to assess the oral health awareness and experience among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out during the period between February and March 2013. Pretested, well-structured, and self-administered questionnaire allowing open and closed responses was used for data collection. Results: The age of the subjects ranged from 18 to 49 years and the age group 28-37 years was significantly more (P < 0.00). Majority, 241 (82.0%) significantly had at least secondary education than 53 (18.0%) who had primary education or less (P < 0.01). Less than 10% of the participants were aware of the effect of pregnancy on oral health and the impact of oral disease on pregnancy outcome. In general, the experienced oral health problems among the pregnant women were tooth decay 21.1%, dental pain 42.2%, pain from the gum 22.8%, swollen gum, 23.5%, gum bleeding 32.7%, and excessive salivation 46.1%. However, only 27.9% had visited the dental clinic most of whom, were those with more than three children (P < 0.01). Excessive salivation was significantly experienced more than other oral health problems and in women with three or less children. Conclusion: Oral health awareness among the subjects was poor and a sizeable number of pregnant women experienced oral health problems during pregnancy. There is a need for the development of guidelines that will promote referral and visit of pregnant women for dental consultation.


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