An Assessment of Knowledge of Relationship Between Periodontal Disease with Pregnancy Outcome and Fertility among Some Pregnant Women in Nigeria
Objective: There had been reports that link periodontal disease with complications associated with pregnancy outcomes such as preeclampsia, pre-term birth and low-birth weight, with individuals that have worse periodontal disease having worse pregnancy outcome. Similar relationship has also been reported between periodontal disease and sperm count, with worse periodontal disease associated with poorer periodontal health. The objective of the study was to assess the knowledge of pregnant women on the possibility of this relationship between pregnancy, fertility and periodontal disease.
Methods: A cross sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 201 pregnant women at the antenatal clinic of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. Interviewer-administered questionnaire was used in assessing respondent's knowledge of the possible relationship between pregnancy outcome, sperm count and periodontal disease.
Results: a total of 201 pregnant women with mean age of 30.69±4.04 years were interviewed. More of the respondents that have visited a dentist for treatment before the interview agreed that poor oral hygiene can affect sperm count in men, which was statistically significant (p= .001). Also, more respondents that have visited a dentist before agreed that gum disease can predispose to low-birth weight in women (p= .008).
Conclusion: although many of the respondents that agreed as to the possible relationship between periodontal disease and pregnancy outcome had been to a dentist for treatment before, many of them, including those that have been to a dentist before, are either not aware of the possibility of the relationship or they totally disagreed with the possibility of the relationship. This suggest that dental professionals need to do more in the area of possible relationship and means of preventing periodontal disease especially amidst women of child-bearing age.