Evaluation of dental caries experience and treatment needs of pregnant women in Baghdad governorate


Background: Pregnancy represents a particular systemic condition that is able to induce, because of hormonal fluctuations, manifestations of different nature in the oral cavity. The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare dental caries prevalence and treatment needs of pregnant women in comparison to non-pregnant women matching with age and area of residency.
Material and methods: In the present study 629 pregnant women were examined for their dental caries experience and treatment needs. 571 non-pregnant were examined too. They were attending the Maternal and Child Health Care Centers in Baghdad governorate. The age range was 20-25 years.
Results: Data revealed a higher caries experience (DMFS) among pregnant women (14.22±0.38) compared to nonpregnant
group (13.94±0.37) but with no statistically significant difference (P>0.05). A higher (DS) value was recorded
for pregnant than non-pregnant women but the difference was statistically not significant (P>0.05). The highest
dental treatment needed was one surface restoration (pregnant: 82.70%, non-pregnant: 85.10%). While the highest
prosthetic treatment need was the need for one-unite prosthesis (pregnant: 32.40%, non-pregnant: 35.60%). Caries
experience (DMFS) showed a highly significant difference with pregnant educational level (F= 5.606, df=4, P<0.01).
Conclusion: An organized, comprehensive oral health preventive and educational program is essential to improve
the oral health status of pregnant women.
Key words: Pregnancy, dental caries, dental treatment need (J Bagh Coll Dentistry 2007; 19(1): 107-111).