Campaigning about the importance of oral health there

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campaigning about the importance of oral health, there has not been any improvement in the oral health status of the country’s population. [19] People continue to neglect oral health, but seek medical care as required. However, it is not realized that often poor periodontal health can be a cause for the deteriorating systemic health of the individuals. It is in such instances that medical professionals’ knowledge about the relationship between periodontal health and general health comes to the rescue of the patient. In the present study, 56.7% of the medical professionals were aware of the bidirectional relationship between systemic and periodontal diseases, while 38.6% of them were aware of the relationship in one of the either directions only. These results differ with previous studies conducted by Shah et al ., [7] Gur and Majra, [17] and Nasir et al . [20] where the awareness on bidirectional relationship between systemic and periodontal diseases was 24%, 11%, and 20%, respectively. A study conducted by Jaiswal et al . in Karnataka revealed that only 6.67% of the medical interns rated their knowledge about the relationship between periodontal and systemic diseases as good. [21] Contrastingly, better awareness than that observed in the current study in this regard was observed in studies conducted by Sawai et al . [22] and Umeizudike et al . [4] where the awareness was more. 88.7% of the professionals responded that diabetes is a risk factor for periodontal disease which is in accordance with a study conducted by Pralhad and Thomas among medical professionals in Karnataka. [15] This awareness was found to be low among medical doctors and interns in Pakistan. [7,18] Fifty‑nine of the medical professionals in the present study were aware that periodontal disease causes preterm low‑birth weight. A study conducted by Patil et al . among gynecologists in Karnataka produced similar results with 61.29% of the participants being aware. [23] However, 82% of the medical professionals were aware of this association in another study conducted among medical professionals in Karnataka, [15] while the awareness was as low as 3% among medical interns in a study conducted by Gur and Majra. [17] 75.3% of the participants in the present study reported that they insist pregnant women to have oral health checkup, while only 17.74% of gynecologists reported insisting pregnant women to have oral health checkup. [23] While misconceptions about routine dental treatments are common among general public, it was surprising to know that 52.6% of the medical professionals in the present study believed that scaling causes loss of enamel. Almost similar results were obtained in studies conducted in Karnataka, Chennai, and Pakistan, with the values being 42%, 35%, and 43%, respectively. [7,15,24] The adverse effects of smoking on Table 3: Distribution of responses to various knowledge questions based on previous dental visit Previous dental visit Yes, n (%) No, n (%) P Relation between periodontal disease and systemic diseases Periodontal to systemic diseases 39 (31.7) 8 (29.6) 0.361 Systemic diseases to periodontal diseases 11 (8.9) 0
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