Dental awareness and oral health of pregnant women in Poland

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Ewelina Gaszyńska ; Justyna Klepacz-Szewczyk ; Elżbieta Trafalska ; Anna Garus-Pakowska ; Franciszek Szatko (2015)
  • Publisher: Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine
  • Journal: International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health (issn: 1232-1087, eissn: 1896-494X)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00183
  • Subject: self evaluation | R | pregnant woman | dental care | oral health | Medicine | dental health surveys
    mesheuropmc: stomatognathic diseases

Objectives: The level of dental awareness of a pregnant woman affects the sanitary condition of her own teeth and the health of the child to be born. Poor oral health is considered to be a probable risk factor for the pre-term birth or low birth weight. The aim of this work was to assess the level of oral health knowledge that determines oral health condition of pregnant women in Poland. Material and Methods: Empirical data were obtained from the National Monitoring of Oral Health and Its Determinants, financed by the Ministry of Health. This socio-epidemiological study assessed oral health status and dental health awareness, which affects that status. Study subjects included 1380 pregnant women at the age ranging from 15 to 44, randomly-selected from urban and rural environments. Dental health status was recorded in the clinical examination sheets supplied by the World Health Organization, and the socio-medical data were recorded in the questionnaire interview sheets. Results: Almost 3/4 of the pregnant women evaluated their dental health as unsatisfactory or poor. Over 60% of the pregnant women rated their knowledge and practical skills concerning care of their own teeth and of the child to be born as limited, inadequate or none. Only 40% of the pregnant women provided right answers to the questions about dental issues. Conclusions: Low oral health awareness results in poor oral health status of the study subjects. A statistical pregnant woman has a total of 13 teeth showing the symptoms of tooth decay or caries. Over 70% of the pregnant women developed gingivitis or periodontitis. There is an urgent need in Poland to make the European principle of treating pregnant women as a dentally vulnerable group obligatory.
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