The aim of this study was to assess the periodontal health knowledge and awareness among a cohort of dental patients in Saudi Arabia.
One thousand adult patients attending King Khaled University Hospital and the Dental Hospital, King Saud University, in Riyadh, KSA, were recruited to the study. The subjects completed a questionnaire that aimed to evaluate their level of awareness on etiology, risk factors, and preventive measures related to periodontal disease.
The study sample showed adequate awareness and general knowledge on signs and symptoms of periodontal diseases as well as risk factors for their development. Data also suggested great knowledge of oral hygiene measures for maintaining good oral hygiene. However, a low level of awareness was reported for the exact etiology of periodontal disease, as indicated by the fact that about 65% of respondents did not know or declined the fact that plaque causes periodontal disease. The participants also demonstrated a low level of awareness of the association between periodontal diseases and systemic conditions, such as coronary heart diseases and premature birth.
The results of this study showed extensive variations and knowledge gaps between different aspects related to periodontal disease. In order for comprehensive oral health educational programs to be effective and to achieve their goals, they should be designed to fulfill these knowledge gaps and tailored to target the areas of least awareness, such as etiology and systemic conditions association.
Keywords: Knowledge and awareness, Periodontal diseases, Risk factors, Preventive measures, Systemic conditions, Oral hygiene.