Oral hygiene status, interdental cleaning and perception of gingival bleeding among a group of pregnant women in Nigeria


  • Modupeoluwa Omotunde SOROYE
  • Olubunmi Omotunde ONIGBINDE


gingival bleeding, oral hygiene status, pregnancy


Background: Hormonal and vascular changes in pregnancy can lead to exaggeration of inflammatory response to local irritants like dental plaque causing pregnancy gingivitis which if not treated can result in advanced periodontal diseases and consequent adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Objective: To assess the oral hygiene and gingival bleeding perception of pregnant women

Methods: Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data. Oral hygiene status and gingival status were assessed with Simplified Oral Hygiene Index (OHI-S) and gingival bleeding index respectively. Data was analysed using IBM SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) version 25. Results were presented in frequency and percentages and chi square analysis done for the categorical variables with statistical significance set at P < 0.05.

Results: One hundred and fifty-one participants with age range of 20 to 43 years with a mean age of 29.85±4.05years participated in the study. All participants used toothbrush to clean their teeth and 44.4% used medium bristled toothbrush. Two-third used herbal toothpaste. More than two-thirds (84.1%) of the participants used both horizontal and vertical tooth brushing technique. Only 33.8% brushed twice daily. Though 92.1% claimed to clean interdentally, only 19.4% used dental floss.  Prevalence of gingival bleeding was 31.8%. Two persons (1.3%) thought it normal to bleed from the gum while brushing and 86.8% did not know one can bleed from the gum during pregnancy Forty-four (29.1%) and 18(11.9%) of participants had fair and poor oral hygiene status respectively. 55.6% bled on probing and had gingival bleeding index of 1 and 2. Four (2.6%) of participants had gingival recession measuring 3mm to 4mm and 8.6% had halitosis. Statistical analysis of the association between participants’ perception of gum bleeding and oral hygiene status showed statistical significance.

Conclusion: The knowledge of pregnancy gingivitis is poor among the participants. There is the need to educate them about this and incorporate periodontal care into antenatal care so as to increase their quality of life during pregnancy.

Author Biographies

Modupeoluwa Omotunde SOROYE

Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Olubunmi Omotunde ONIGBINDE

Department of Preventive Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine,

Lagos, Lagos State






Original Articles