Dental caries status and its associated factors in pregnant women, Shiraz, Iran, 2014

Soheila Shaghaghian, Leila Malekmakan, Vahid Rahimian, Najmeh Savadi


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Dental caries is a common problem in pregnant women which has negative impacts on their quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate pregnant women’s dental caries status and its associated risk factors in Shiraz, Iran, in 2014.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we selected 423 pregnant women attending Shiraz governmental health centers for routine obstetric examinations by randomized cluster sampling. The women's dental caries status was assessed using decayed, missed, and filled tooth (DMFT) index. The women’s demographic characteristics and their oral hygiene habits were evaluated using a valid and reliable questionnaire. The relationship between women's DMFT index and their demographic and oral hygiene characteristics was evaluated using Pearson correlation, analysis of variance, independent sample t-tests, and multiple linear regression models.

RESULTS: The mean DMFT index was 5.8 ± 3.6. We found lower scores of DMFT index in women who were younger (P < 0.001), brushed their teeth more (P = 0.014), and used home preventive measures such as mouthwash (P = 0.003) and toothpick (P = 0.006).

CONCLUSION: Dental caries status of the pregnant women was unacceptably lower than optimal. Interventions focusing on holding educational programs and taking office-based preventive measures for pregnant women or women who intend to be pregnant are recommended. The interventions are more necessary for older pregnant women and those who use fewer home preventive measures.


Dental Caries; Iran; Pregnancy

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