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Knowledge Of Periodontal Diseases And Oral Hygiene Practices Among Pregnant Women Attending Maternal And Child Health/ Family Planning Clinic At Kenyatta National Hospital

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Background: Periodontal disease is an infectious disease whose main etiology is plaque retention. There are a group of people who are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease, pregnant women being among them. There is deficient knowledge on periodontal disease and oral hygiene practices among pregnant women in Kenya. With improved awareness in these subjects, the prevalence of periodontal disease among pregnant women can be reduced.

Objective: To assess the knowledge on periodontal disease and oral hygiene practices among pregnant women.

Study design: A descriptive cross-sectional study using hospital-based study groups

Setting: The study was conducted at the MCH/FP clinic in Kenyatta National Hospital

Materials and methods: 120 pregnant women were recruited and interviewed on their oral hygiene practices and knowledge on periodontal diseases. Data was collected by means of an interviewer-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered and filled by the interviewer according to the patients’ responses. Data collected was analyzed with the aid of a computer (SPSS) and presented in proportions and percentages of the entire sample.

Results: 116 pregnant women at selected MCH/FP clinic of Kenyatta National Hospital were interviewed. All the participants practiced oral hygiene.63% of them brushed two or more times per day. Most of them (88.8%) did not practice interdental cleaning.61.8% of the participants were aware of dental plaque, 45%were aware of calculus, 44.9% were aware of gingivitis/periodontitis. 86.4% were aware that gingivitis was worsened by pregnancy. A greater portion of them (47.8%), however did not know whether or not gingivitis/periodontitis affected one’s pregnancy outcome.Only 27% of the participants claimed to have been advised to go for dental check-up by the MCH/FP clinic while 70% of them claimed not to have received the advice. Only 42.7% of the participants claimed to have received information on oral hygiene practices from the MCH/FP clinic.

Conclusion:A large percentage ofpregnant women attending MCH/FP clinic have limited amount of knowledge regarding periodontal diseases and the importance of oral hygiene practices, especially during pregnancy. Their knowledge on periodontal diseases and their inter-relationship with pregnancy and pregnancy outcome is also limited.


       1. Oral health care should be incorporated into the existing MCH program for the purposes of         preventing periodontal diseases among pregnant women

  1. Educate pregnant women on preventive measures for periodontal diseases; this can be done through oral health education sessions.


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