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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 48-54

Periodontal health knowledge of nonmedical professionals and their oral hygiene behavior in a teaching hospital in Nigeria

1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kehinde Adesola Umeizudike
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-9626.154161

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Background: The awareness of periodontal diseases is generally poor among Nigerians. Working within the hospital environment should give an edge to nonmedical professionals, who could help to promote periodontal health awareness in countries with an inadequate number of dental health professionals. This study aimed to determine the awareness, knowledge of periodontal diseases and oral hygiene behavior of nonmedical professionals within a hospital setting. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on 302 nonmedical professionals in a teaching hospital in Nigeria. Pretested, self-administered, semi-structured questionnaires were utilized for data collection on sociodemography, number of years of work experience in the hospital, work cadre, awareness and knowledge of periodontal diseases, oral self-care and dental attendance pattern. Results: The awareness of periodontal disease was relatively high (60.2%) in the nonmedical professionals. However, only 29.8% had adequate knowledge of periodontal diseases. Their knowledge was significantly associated with male gender (P = 0.042), higher education (P = 0.006) and nonYoruba ethnicity (P = 0.015). Their duration of work within the hospital premises did not significantly affect their periodontal health knowledge. Less than half (42.7%) practiced twice or more daily brushing while only 11.9% used interdental floss for interproximal plaque removal. Their dental attendance pattern was mostly (83.5%) problem-oriented rather than preventive. Conclusion: The nonmedical professionals had fairly high awareness but inadequate periodontal health knowledge and oral hygiene practices. These findings may make their role as oral health promoters a questionable one, unless, this is addressed urgently.

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