Purpose: To assess the knowledge of dental decay among pregnant women and its relationship with sociodemographic characteristics and caries experience in rural India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 381 pregnant women in southern India. Variables and knowledge of dental decay were recorded using a structured self-administered questionnaire. Dental caries was recorded by a calibrated examiner as per WHO guidelines. Results: The majority of the respondents were under 30 years of age (91.6%), utilised a public health-care delivery system (57.2%), were primigravid (63%), had a pre-universtiy diploma (64.8%) and were in the 3rd trimester (63%). Overall, poor knowledge was expressed by 12% to 37% of the women. The mean (±SD) DT (decayed teeth), MT (missing teeth), FT (filled teeth) and DMFT (decayed, missing and filled teeth) were 3.08 (±2.6), 0.93 (±2.23), 0.39 (±1.14) and 4.4 (±3.56), respectively. There were no significant differences in the responses to the knowledge of caries with respect to age and trimester. Educational status, health-care delivery system and number of pregnancies had a significant association with knowledge of caries. Conclusion: This study highlighted the limited knowledge of dental decay among pregnant, rural, southern Indian women. Preventive programmes for pregnant women should be designed based upon a thorough interview including an informative session on the specific risks during this period, in order to motivate the patient towards oral health and implement the needed prophylactic measures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Dental Hygiene