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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-26

Attitude and awareness towards periodontal health among health care and non-health care professionals


Department of Periodontics and Implantology, VSPM Dental College and Research Center, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication16-Feb-2016

Correspondence Address:
Surekha Rathod
A/20, Mahalgi Nagar, Ring Road, Nagpur - 440 034, Maharashtra
India
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DOI: 10.4103/0976-433X.176479

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  Abstract 

Background and Aim: The behavior of oral health care providers and their attitudes toward their own health refl ect their understanding of the importance of preventive dental procedure and improving the oral health of patients. The attitude toward oral health determines the health status of the oral cavity. A cross-sectional study conducted among the health care professionals and non-health care professionals to assess attitude and awareness towards periodontal health. Materials and Methods: The data pertaining to their knowledge, attitude, and practice about oral health was gathered using a self-administered questionnaire containing 13 questions which were a multiple options questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed among 798 subjects within the age range of 17-25 years (402 were distributed among health care professionals and among 398 non-health care professionals). Results: Health care professionals visited their dentist regularly, had less dental problems, used proper tooth-brushing technique and other interdental aids, had a good lifestyle as compared to non-health care professionals. Conclusion: So the basic knowledge about dentistry should be incorporated in the syllabus.

Keywords: Attitude, awareness, healthcare professionals, non-health care professionals, periodontal disease


How to cite this article:
Rathod S, Khan F, Sarda T. Attitude and awareness towards periodontal health among health care and non-health care professionals. SRM J Res Dent Sci 2016;7:23-6

How to cite this URL:
Rathod S, Khan F, Sarda T. Attitude and awareness towards periodontal health among health care and non-health care professionals. SRM J Res Dent Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Oct 21];7:23-6. Available from: http://www.srmjrds.in/text.asp?2016/7/1/23/176479


  Introduction Top


The attainment by all people of the world, a level of health that enables them to lead a socially and economically productive life, is the social target of World Health Organization.[1] Health cannot be isolated from its social context, and the last few decades have shown that the social and economic factors have as much influence on health as the medical interventions.[2] Oral health is integral to general health. Oral health means more than healthy teeth, and you cannot be systemically healthy without oral health.[3] Poor oral health reflects social inequalities. Hence, the prevention of oral diseases should be a priority in developed and underdeveloped countries in the world. An active role must be played by medical practitioners in oral health promotion.[4] Oral diseases have a definite effect on the overall systemic health; hence the physician must play a more active role in educating their patients about the role of oral diseases in their overall health and why it is important to eliminate dental diseases. But, the role of a health care professional to improve oral health of the population depends on his own knowledge about the oral diseases and their effect on general health, his attitude toward dentistry and their routine practice to maintain oral health. Also, oral health awareness, dental knowledge, and positive health attitudes of the general public have grown.[5],[6],[7]

The behavior of oral health care providers and their attitudes toward their own health reflect their understanding toward the importance of preventive dental procedure and improving the oral health of patients. Attitude is an acquired characteristic of an individual. A wide variety of attitudes is demonstrated toward teeth by people, dental care, and dentists. These attitudes naturally reflect their own experiences, cultural perceptions, familial beliefs and other life situations and they strongly influence the oral health behavior.[8],[9],[10],[11] Attitudes are not learned from textbooks; they are acquired by social interactions. Previous studies have shown that mass media, dental professionals, and dental literature are the main sources of oral health information.[12] The attitude toward oral health determines the health status of the oral cavity. As there is a paucity of literature, the present study was carried out to compare and assess the knowledge, attitude and behavior in relation to periodontal health status among health care and non-health care professionals.


  Materials and Methods Top


The present study design was a cross-sectional study conducted among the health care professionals and non-health care professionals in Nagpur city, Maharashtra. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of VSPM's Dental College and Research Centre. The data pertaining to their knowledge, attitude and practice about oral health was gathered using a self-administered questionnaire containing 13 questions which were a multiple options questionnaire.

The questions were divided into those which assessed the knowledge of oral diseases, measures to maintain their oral hygiene and their attitude toward oral health. The questionnaire was distributed among 798 subjects within the age range of 17-25 years. Of these, 402 were distributed among health care professionals and among 398 non-health care professionals. The identity of the health care professionals and non-health care professionals was not disclosed. The questionnaire was redone by one of the two investigators, and each individual was given 15 min to fill the questionnaire. The study spanned over a period of 3 months. The filled questionnaire was immediately collected and analyzed.

Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis was performed with the help of Chi-square test and percentage analysis.


  Results Top


Dental problems

Thirty-one percentage in the professional group and 46% in the non-professional group had the dental problem.

Visit to the dentist

Sixty-one percentage in the professional group and 58% in the non-professional group visited the dentist regularly.

Tooth-brushing

Eighty-one percentage in the professional group and 45% in the non-professional group brushed their teeth with toothpaste and toothbrush. While 55% in the non-professional group brushed their teeth with finger and toothpaste. As shown in [Table 1], 50% of participants in the professional group and 49% in non-professional group brushed twice a day. The rest of them brushed once or more time per day. Also, 51% in the professional group and 36% in the non-professional group used the circular technique for brushing while other used horizontal/vertical [Table 1].
Table 1: According to frequency and technique of brushing

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Interval of exchange of toothbrush

As shown in [Table 2], 59% in the professional group and 40% in the non-professional group reported that their toothbrush bristles starts bending within 1-3 months and other reported within 1-month or more than 3 months. As shown in [Table 2], 56% in the professional group changed their brush within 3 months, and 40% in the non-professional group changed their brush within 3-6 months [Table 2].
Table 2: According to bending of bristles and interval of exchange of tooth brush

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Other self-care practices

As shown in [Table 3], 61% in the professional group and 20% in the non-professional group rinsed with mouthwash. While 19% used dental floss and 11% used a toothpick in the professional group and 5% used dental floss, and 6.3% used a toothpick in the non-professional group. Because of this, 16% had bleeding gums, 10% had foul breath, 13% had sensitivity to cold/hot, 7.5% had loose teeth, and 3.5% had swollen gums in the non-professional group. More awareness was found in professional than non-professional. Treatment like cleaning of teeth (38%), tooth filling (23%), removal of teeth (11%), teeth braces (10%), root canal treatment (17%) was carried out more extensively by non-professional group [Table 3] and [Table 4].
Table 3: According to use of interdental cleaning aids and any dental problem

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Table 4: According to any dental treatment taken

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Lifestyles

[Table 5] shows, 76% in the professional group and 63% in the non-professional group had no habit while in professional group smoking (10%), tobacco chewing (8.3%), gutkha/supari chewing (5%), and in non-professional group, smoking (11%), tobacco chewing (9.5%), gutkha chewing (14%).
Table 5: According to habit and pattern of chewing

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Fifty-six percentage in professional and 37% in non-professional were taking mixed diet. While 37% and 34% were vegetarian, and 3.2% and 3% were nonvegetarians in the professional and non-professional group respectively. Eighty-one percentage in professional and 78% in non-professional had used both sides for chewing [Table 5].


  Discussion Top


William Osler said, the mouth is the mirror of general health; poor oral conditions may adversely affect the general health, and certain medical conditions may have a negative impact on oral health.[13],[14] This study was conducted to assess the dental knowledge, attitude and awareness of different health care professionals and non-health care professionals of Nagpur.

This paper focuses on describing differences among professional and non-professional in relation to their knowledge, attitude and behavior toward periodontal health. Concerning knowledge most of the professionals knew the use of proper brushing technique, interval of exchange of tooth brush, treatment taken which help prevent periodontal disease however more than 2/3rd of non-professional were unaware that dental floss helps prevent periodontal disease. This result indicates that improvement in knowledge toward the use of dental floss is needed. Intervention to increase the knowledge and subsequent use of flossing is essential.

The frequent dental visits facilitate the subjects in the non-professional group to gain more knowledge about the causes of oral diseases and their prevention. The favorable dental attitude that develops because of the dental visits drives the people in the non-professional group to seek information on oral diseases and apply the preventive procedures in their day to day life. The difference in the frequency of dental visits among the subjects in the non-professional group may explain this difference in the degree of awareness. So, more awareness was found in the non-professional group than professional.

The level of dental health knowledge, positive dental health attitude, and dental health behaviors are interlinked and positively associated with the level of education as demonstrated in the studies by Al-Wahadni et al. and Barrieshi-Nusair et al.[15],[16],[17],[18] All these studies have found the level of education to play a vital role, as an educated individual gains the requisite knowledge from multiple sources. These in turn will drive these people to have a positive dental health attitude and behavior.

Professional people were more concerned about their lifestyle. So, according to the result, professional group (76%) had no habits, most of the people were taking mixed diet and using both sides for mastication. So the severity of problems like bleeding gums, foul breath, sensitivity to cold/hot, loose teeth, swollen gums were less in professional than non-professional.

Ashwath conducted a study to evaluate the self-perception of oral malodor and oral hygiene habits amongst dental students. A structured questionnaire consisting of ten questions was administered to 285 undergraduate students of Madha Dental College and Hospital. The questionnaire was designed to evaluate the self-perception of halitosis, oral hygiene aids used, the presence of dental caries, gingival bleeding, and dryness of the mouth. Of the 285 students, 259 students completed the questionnaire. The response rate was 90%, with male response rate being 85.7% and female 95.8%. Self-perceived halitosis was reported by 44.1% males and 45.32% females. The difference in reporting self-perception of halitosis between females and males was found to be statistically significant. A significant difference was found for use of mouthwash, the presence of carious teeth, bleeding gums, and use of tongue cleaners between females and males.[19]


  Conclusion Top


Some of the strategies which can help us to improve the education of medical professionals about the oral health and its relevance are:[4]

  1. Incorporate basic knowledge about dentistry in medical syllabus.
  2. Various interdisciplinary symposia/lectures/conferences highlighting the issues.
  3. Initial or basic management of dental emergencies in medical practice.
  4. Special study models or electives in oral health and disease by involving the dental faculty in teaching should be created.
  5. As the dental or periodontal disease is more and more related to various systemic problems, the awareness about the same, managing cases by all faculties and referrals should be undertaken.


The limitation of this research is being evaluated on the basis of self-reported data. Measurement error due to misinterpretation of questions and memory errors are subject to occur. To overcome this problem, the questions were worded simply.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Mahajan BK. Social environment. Textbook of Social and Preventive Medicine. 1st ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.; 1991. p. 82-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
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Patil A, Chavan S, Baghele ON, Patel K, Patil K. Awareness of oral health among medical practioner in Sangamner city – A cross sectional survey. Int J Clin Dent Sci 2010;1:26-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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9.
Friedman LA, Mackler IG, Hoggard GJ, French CI. A comparison of perceived and actual dental needs of a select group of children in Texas. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1976;4:89-93.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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McCaul KD, Glasgow RE, Gustafson C. Predicting levels of preventive dental behaviors. J Am Dent Assoc 1985;111:601-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Wright FA. Children's perception of vulnerability to illness and dental disease. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1982;10:29-32.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Paik DI, Moon HS, Horowitz AM, Gift HC, Jeong KL, Suh SS. Knowledge of and practices related to caries prevention among Koreans. J Public Health Dent 1994;54:205-10.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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Sumi Y, Nakamura Y, Nagaosa S, Michiwaki Y, Nagaya M. Attitudes to oral care among caregivers in Japanese nursing homes. Gerodontology 2001;18:2-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Radha G, Pushpanjali K. Knowledge and attitude and practice of oral health among nursing staff and nursing students of Bangalore city. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2008;11:17-21.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Al-Wahadni AM, Al-Omiri MK, Kawamura M. Differences in self-reported oral health behavior between dental students and dental technology/dental hygiene students in Jordan. J Oral Sci 2004;46:191-7.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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Kawamura M, Iwamoto Y, Wright FA. A comparison of self-reported dental health attitudes and behavior between selected Japanese and Australian students. J Dent Educ 1997;61:354-60.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
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Barrieshi-Nusair K, Alomari Q, Said K. Dental health attitudes and behaviour among dental students in Jordan. Community Dent Health 2006;23:147-51.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Kawamura M, Spadafora A, Kim KJ, Komabayashi T. Comparison of United States and Korean dental hygiene students using the Hiroshima university-dental behavioural inventory(HU-DBI). Int Dent J 2002;52:156-62.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.
Ashwath B, Vijayalakshmi R, Malini S. Self-perceived halitosis and oral hygiene habits among undergraduate dental students. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2014;18:357-60.  Back to cited text no. 19
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