CC BY 4.0 · Libyan International Medical University Journal 2024; 09(01): 015-020
DOI: 10.1055/s-0044-1779664
Original Article

Evaluation of Gynecologists‧ Knowledge and Awareness Regarding Oral Health Condition During Pregnancy in the City of Benghazi, Libya

1   Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Libyan International Medical University, Benghazi, Libya
Kheiria M. Bayou
2   Faculty of Dentistry, Libyan International Medical University, Benghazi, Libya
Randah Eldfeir
2   Faculty of Dentistry, Libyan International Medical University, Benghazi, Libya
Asala Bengdara
2   Faculty of Dentistry, Libyan International Medical University, Benghazi, Libya
Malak Abushiha
2   Faculty of Dentistry, Libyan International Medical University, Benghazi, Libya
Nada Ben Ali
2   Faculty of Dentistry, Libyan International Medical University, Benghazi, Libya
› Author Affiliations
Funding This work was supported by the Libyan International Medical University.


Background A pregnant woman with dental issues may not see a dentist unless her gynecologist advices her to do so. Thus, gynecologists need to be aware of the impact of dental health on pregnancy and what pregnant women need to do to improve their dental health.

Aim The aim of this study is to evaluate gynecologists' awareness, understanding, and practice regarding the impacts of dental therapy during pregnancy and the influence of dental disease on pregnancy outcomes.

Methods All the data in this cross-sectional study were acquired from gynecologists in public and private hospitals in Benghazi, Libya, over a period of 6 months during 2022. A modified structured questionnaire developed by Paneer et al consisting of 20 closed-ended questions related to oral care of pregnant patients was given to the participating gynecologists. Data obtained were presented as frequencies and percentages using the SPSS statistical package.

Results Sixty gynecologists, with ages ranging from 35 to 65 years, completed the questionnaire. The majority (81%) recognized that pregnancy increases the risk of gingival inflammation, but only 60% attributed this to hormonal changes. While 45% were aware of the impact of periodontal inflammation on pregnancy outcomes, only 38.3% knew about its association with preterm birth and low birth weight. Most participants (83%) considered dental referral important, and 81.7% believed oral cavity examination should be a part of maternal health, yet only 36% actually performed it. Ninety percent of the participants reported that they advise pregnant women on oral hygiene and routine checkups. Regarding safety, only 46.7% believed radiographs to be safe during pregnancy, and 51.7% considered local anesthesia with vasoconstriction safe. However, 95% agreed that the second and third trimesters are the safest period for dental treatment.

Conclusion The results of the current study show that gynecologists are fairly knowledgeable about the link between dental health and pregnancy. There is, however, unquestionably some miscomprehension about offering dental care to expectant mothers. Pregnant women and the medical community need access to more information, and misconceptions about suitable dental procedures during pregnancy must be addressed to improve oral health care.

Ethical Approval

The ethical committee of Faculty of Dentistry, Libyan International Medical University, approved the study.

Publication History

Received: 02 November 2023

Accepted: 16 December 2023

Article published online:
23 February 2024

© 2024. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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