OBJECTIVES: To assess oral health status and to describe the possible factors that could affect the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) among a group of pregnant rural women in South India. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 259 pregnant women (mean age 26 +/- 5.5 years) who participated in the cross-sectional study were administered the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14) questionnaire and were clinically examined for caries and periodontal status. RESULTS: The highest oral impact on quality of life was reported for 'painful mouth' (mean: 1.7) and 'difficulty in eating' (mean: 1.1). On comparing the mean OHIP-14 scores against the various self-reported oral problems, it was seen that the mean OHIP-14 scores were significantly higher among those who reported various oral problems than those who did not. Those with previous history of pregnancies had more severe levels of gingivitis than those who were pregnant for the first time. Also gingival index scores, community periodontal index of treatment needs scores and previous pregnancies was associated with poorer OHRQoL scores. CONCLUSION: Increased health promotion interventions and simple educational preventive programmes on oral self-care and disease prevention during pregnancy can go a long way in improving oral health and lessening its impact on the quality of life in this important population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Dentistry (miscellaneous)