Relationship between DMFT index and number of pregnancies: a cross-sectional study on enrollment phase of the Tabari Cohort Study
Background: People of all age and gender groups are at risk of dental diseases; however, some groups, such as pregnant women, are more vulnerable than others due to their specific physiological situations. The protection of maternal and fetal is critical. Therefore, the present study intended to investigate the relationship between the Decayed, Missing, and Filled Teeth (DMFT) index and the number of pregnancies.
Methods: The present cross-sectional study was performed using the Tabari Cohort Study (T.C.S.) data. Data of 5,496 women enrolled in the T.C.S. were included in the study. After obtaining the approval of the Ethics Committee, the related data on the variables of age, age at the first pregnancy, number of pregnancies, total number of teeth at the time of examination, number of DMFT, employment status, socioeconomic status, educational level, residence location, body mass index, and the status of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases were extracted. Finally, data analysis was performed in the STATA software (version 14).
Results: The mean DMFT index in women with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and more than six pregnancies were obtained at 12.74 ± 7.11, 13.09 ± 7.06, 14.80 ± 7.81, 17.07 ± 8.11, 19.82 ± 9.02, 22.89 ± 8.98, and 26.17 ± 8.01, respectively (P < 0.001). Using the multivariate linear regression and adjusting the effect of potential confounding variables, it was found that the DMFT index increased by 34% for each unit increase in the number of pregnancies (β = 0.34, P < 0.001). Conclusions: According to our results, there was a significant relationship between the DMFT index and the number of pregnancies. The DMFT index was increased with an increased number of pregnancies. Therefore, oral healthcare promotion should receive special attention in healthcare planning and related policies by raising awareness and providing easy access to dental services for women of childbearing age, especially pregnant women.
Keywords: DMFT index; Number of pregnancies; Tooth decay.