Factors influencing the dental caries in pregnant women: a cross-sectional study





Dental caries; Epidemiologic; Studies; Smoking; Oral health; Pregnancy.


Objective: To assess factors associated with the average number of dental caries in pregnant women. Method: Basic research design: This cross-sectional study was performed between January 2017 and December 2018 in Santa Maria, Brazil. Clinical setting and participants: Multistage random sampling resulted in the recruitment of 256 pregnant women from public health centers across the city. Clinical exams and semi-structured questionnaires including demographic, socioeconomic and behavioral questions were performed by trained interviewers. Main outcome measure: The experience of dental caries was evaluated through the mean value of the Decay, Missing, and Filled Surface Index (DMFS) by 4 trained and calibrated examiners. Multilevel Poisson regression models were used to evaluate the influence of different variables on the average number of dental caries. Rate ratio (RR) and respective 95% confidence intervals were calculated (CI 95%). Results: The prevalence of untreated dental caries was 62.7% in the sample, while the mean DMFS index was 10.27 (± 10.92). Women who smoked during pregnancy had a higher mean DMFS (RR 1.41; 95% CI 1.25-1.57). Furthermore, pregnant women who had poor self-ratings of oral health had a higher average DMFS (RR 1.21; 95% CI 1.10-1.32). Conclusions: The results showed that older age, ethnicity, fewer years in education and the presence of dental plaque resulted in higher means of DMFS.


Acharya, S., Bhat, P. V., & Acharya, S. (2009). Factors affecting oral health-related quality of life among pregnant women. International Journal of Dental Hygiene 7:102-7.

Bastos, J. L., Gigante, D.P., & Peres, K. G. (2008). Toothache prevalence and associated factors: a population- based study in southern Brazil. Oral Diseases 14,320–6.

Bianchini, B. V., Maroneze, M. C., Timm, M. S., Dos Santos, B. Z., & Dotto, P. P. (2020). Prevalence of Alcohol and Tobacco Use and Perceptions Regarding Prenatal Care among Pregnant Brazilian Women, 2017 to 2018: A Mixed-Methods Study. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 24(12), 1438-1445.

Codato, L. A. B., Nakama, L., Junior, L. C. & Higasi, M. S. (2011). Dental treatment of pregnant women : the role of healthcare professionals. Ciência e Saúde Coletiva 16(4):2297-2301.

Engelmann, J. L., Tomazoni, F., Machado, M. D., & Ardenghi, T. M. (2016). Association between Dental Caries and Socioeconomic Factors in Schoolchildren - A Multilevel Analysis. Brazilian Dental Journal 1, 27:72–8.

Hopkins, J., Miller, J. L., Butler, K., Gibson, L., Hedrick, L., & Boyle, D. A. (2018). The relation between social support , anxiety and distress symptoms and maternal fetal attachment. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 6838:1–12.

Kale, P. L., Fonseca, S. C., Silva, K. S., Rocha, P. M. M., Silva, R. G., Pires, A. C. A. Cavalcanti, M. D. T., Costa, A. J. L., & Torre, T. Z. G. (2015). Smoking prevalence, reduction, and cessation during pregnancy and associated factors: a cross-sectional study in public maternities. BMC Public Health 15:406.

Lamarca, G. A., Leal, M. C., Leao, A. T. T., Sheiham, A. & Vettore, M. V. ( 2012). Oral health related quality of life in pregnant and post partum women in two social network domains ; predominantly home-based and work- based networks. Health Qual Life Outcomes 10(1):5.

Leal, A. D. O, Rolim, J. I. A, Muniz, I. A. F., Muniz, I. A. F. & Farias, I. A. P. (2013). Study of salivary parameters’ study of pregnant women. Odontologia Clínico-Científica, 2013; 12(1):39-42.

Melo, N. S. F. O., Ronchi, R., Mendes, C. S., & Mazza, V. A. (2007). Hábitos alimentares e de higiene oral influenciado à saúde bucal da gestante. Cogitare Enfernagem 12(2):189–97.

Moimaz, S. A. S., Rocha, N. B., Garbin, A. J. I., Garbin, C. A. S., & Saliba, O. (2016). Influence of oral health on quality of life in pregnant women. Acta odontologica latinoamericana 29(2):186–93.

Moise, I. K. (2019). Alcohol use, pregnancy and associated risk factors: a pilot cross-sectional study of pregnant women attending prenatal care in an urban city. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 19(1), 1-7.

Petersson, G. H., & Twetman, S. (2019). Tobacco use and caries increment in young adult : a prospective observational study. BMC Research Notes 1–5.

Petrušić, N., Posavac, M., Sabol, I., & Mravak-Stipetić M. (2015). The Effect of Tobacco Smoking on Salivation. Acta Stomatologica Croatica, 49, (4):309-315.

Rossel, F. L., Oliveira, A. L. B. M., Tagliaferro, E. P. S., Silva, S. R. C., & Júnior, A. V. (2013). Impact of Oral Health Problems on the Quality of Life of Pregnant Women. Pesquisa Brasileira em Odontopediatria e Clínica Integrada 13(3):287-293.

Selwitz, R. H., Ismail, A. I., & Pitts, N. B. (2007). Dental caries. The Lancet 369:51-9.

Silveira, M. F., Freire, R. S., Nepomuceno, M. O., Martins, A. M. & Marcopito, L. F. (2015). Cárie dentária e fatores associados entre adolescentes do norte do Estado de Minas Gerais: uma análise hierárquica. Ciência e Saúde Coletiva 20 (11):3351-64.

Solar O., & Irwin A. A Conceptual Framework for Action on the Social Determinants of Health. Soc Determ Heal Discuss Pap 2 (Policy Pract [Internet]. 2010;79

Tada, A., & Hanada, N. (2002). Sexual differences in smoking behaviour and dental caries experience in young adults. Public health 116, 6:341-346.

Tanner, T., Päkkilä, J., Karja-lainen, K., Kämppi, A., Järvelin, M-R., Patinen, P., Tjäderhane, L. & Anttonen, V. (2015). Smoking, alcohol use, socioeconomic background and oral health among young Finnish adults. Community Dentistry Oral Epidemiology 3,406–14.

Thomson, W. M., Spencer, A. J., Slade, G. D. & Chalmers, J. M. (2002). Is medication a risk factor for dental caries among older people ? Community Dentistry Oral Epidemiology 30, 224–32.

Tonello, A. S., Zuchieri, M. A. B. O. & Pardi, V. (2007). Assessment of oral health status of pregnant women participating in a family health program in the city of Lucas do Rio Verde – MT. Brazilian Journal of Oral Science 6(20):1265–8.

Toquinto, S. M., Berglas, N. F., McLemore, M. R., Delgado, A., & Roberts, S. C. (2020). Pregnant Women's Acceptability of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Screening and Willingness to Disclose Use in Prenatal Care. Women's Health Issues, 30(5), 345-352.

World Health Organization [homepage]. (2013). Oral health surveys: basic methods. (5th ed.), 2013 https://www.who.int/oral_health/publications/9789241548649/en/




How to Cite

BOLSSON, G. B. .; KNORST, J. K. .; MARONEZE, M. C. .; CASARIN, M.; DOTTO, P. P. .; SANTOS, B. Z. . Factors influencing the dental caries in pregnant women: a cross-sectional study. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 10, n. 1, p. e32810111226, 2021. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v10i1.12226. Disponível em: https://rsdjournal.org/index.php/rsd/article/view/12226. Acesso em: 1 mar. 2021.



Health Sciences