Purpose: To conduct a questionnaire-based survey of pregnant women with particular reference to their knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to oral care and adverse pregnancy outcomes and also to identify the various risk indicators for gingival bleeding during pregnancy.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey using interviewer-administered, structured questionnaires at three maternity care centres. The study group comprised 359 pregnant women who were assessed for their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding oral health care during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Results: There were deficits in various areas of the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the pregnant women. The majority (87.2%) were not aware of the importance of oral hygiene and its probable association with adverse pregnancy outcomes. None of the respondents ever used dental floss and only a few (1.4%) had heard about it. Risk indicators that were identified in our study for gingival bleeding during pregnancy were: poor knowledge regarding various parameters, brushing only once daily and infrequent visits to the dentist.
Conclusions: Most pregnant women need more information about oral health and disease prevention. It would be prudent to compile and consider their knowledge, attitudes and practices along with sociocultural characteristics, so that health education programmes are customised to different sectors of the population.
Keywords: gingival bleeding, KAP, pregnancy outcomes, sociocultural factors