A survey of self-reported oral health practices, behaviour and oral health status of pregnant women attending TBA ante-natal clinics in a Nigerian rural community.
Objectives: To assess the self-reported oral health practices, behaviour and oral health status of pregnant women attending traditional birth attendant (TBA) clinics in a rural community.
Methods: A cross sectional survey of the oral health practices and oral health status of sixty-two pregnant women attending traditional birth attendant clinics in a rural community was conducted using interviewer-administered questionnaires.Dental caries experiencewas determined using WHO diagnostic criteria to measure the DMFT,Significant caries (Sic) while oral hygiene status was determined using criteria by Greene and Vermillion. Frequency distribution by age, pregnancy status, occupational status, sugary snack consumption, tooth brushing, exposure to fluoride toothpaste and dental visits were obtained. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 and level of significance was placed at p<0.05.
Results: Sixty-six percent of the population were in 20-30 years age range and mostly in their third trimester. Caries prevalence was 37%, mean DMFT was 0.87 (SD 1.57) and Sic index was 2.48. Sixty-six percent had good oral hygiene.Seventy-eight percent of the population who had never visited the dentist had some caries experience (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Dental utilization was poor and there were a number of unmet treatment needs among pregnant women attending TBA clinics. There is need to train traditional birth attendants to identify simple oral diseases and incorporate them into oral health promotion programmes in order to improve referral of pregnant women, oral health awareness and dental service utilization among pregnant women in the region.