Background: Pre-term low birth weight (PLBW) is a condition having tremendous financial impact on health care systems as well as the affected families. Studies suggest that 18.2% of all PLBW cases may be attributable to periodontal disease. Objectives: To assess gynecologists′ knowledge of periodontal disease as a risk factor in PLBW and their knowledge with regard to the oral manifestations of periodontal disease. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted on gynecologists in the city of Mangalore. The respondents were divided into four groups - those practicing only in medical colleges, those having only a private practice, those practicing in both medical colleges and in private practice, and post-graduate students of gynecology in the medical colleges in the city. Statistical Analysis Used: The Chi-square test for proportions was used to test the differences between the groups. Results: Out of a total of 142 gynecologists, 93 participated in the survey. Group II respondents were omitted from the statistical analysis as the response rate was only 18.8%. Periodontal disease was considered to be a risk factor in PLBW by 52 (59.8%) respondents while 13 (14.9%) stated that it was not a risk factor at all. Sixty-seven (77%) respondents stated that bleeding/enlargement of the gingivae was a sign of periodontal infection. Conclusions: Respondents′ knowledge was high regarding the oral manifestations of periodontal disease but was low regarding periodontal disease as a risk factor in PLBW.
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