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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 441-446

Knowledge and attitude of pharmacists regarding oral Health care and oral hygiene products in Davangere City, Karnataka, India

1 Department of Community Dentistry, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere. Karnataka-577 004, India
2 Department of Community Dentistry, IPS center for Dental Studies and Research, Delhi- Meerut road, Ghaziabad-201206, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Pharmacists have been regarded as the second most source of advice on general health matters they are the first port of call when people have oral symptoms, such as a toothache or mouth ulcers. There are a variety of ways by which the pharmacist can take a frontline approach to oral disease prevention, identification, assessment, management, and referral. Objective: To assess the Knowledge and attitudes of pharmacists in Davangere city, India regarding oral health care and oral hygiene products. Methodology: A cross-sectional survey among a sample of 106 pharmacists in Davangere city was done and data regarding their knowledge and attitudes towards oral health care and oral hygiene products were obtained using a closed-ended questionnaire. Chi square test was employed to analyze the significance in response in relation to independent variables. Results: Among the 106 pharmacies approached, 56.6% of the participants gave a positive answer when asked whether they had met the dentist practicing close to their pharmacies. Most of the pharmacists stocked oral health-related products, which comprised 10-25% of their total stock. Of these products toothpaste was the most common (64.2%), followed by mouth rinses and toothpowder (15.1%). Toothache or painful teeth was the most common dental problem (76.4%) for which patients approached the pharmacists for advice. With regard to the advice given, 36.8% of the pharmacists asked the patient to consult a nearby dentist, 15.1% of the pharmacists dispensed antibiotics and painkillers without any referral. Many of them (39.6%) felt that lack of proper knowledge is a barrier to providing oral health care advice. Conclusion: It is clear from the present study that pharmacists are presently an underutilized resource, and there is a definitive need to improve their training and access to information on available dental services.

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