Practice of Self-Medication for Dental Problems in Uttar Pradesh, India

Oral Health Prev Dent. 2016;14(1):5-11. doi: 10.3290/j.ohpd.a35000.


Purpose: To assess the practice of self-medication for oral health problems in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Materials and methods: This multiregional cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in four towns; Moradabad, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Bareilly over a 2-month period on 352 subjects. The questionnaire consisted of a demographic profile, questions related to problems of oral health for self-medication, substances used, source of the substance, duration, reason and source of advice for self-medication. The data were analysed using the chi-square test with significance set at p < 0.05.

Results: The prevalence of self-medication was 72%. The source of substances in most of the cases was a pharmacy shop (62.5%). The most frequent self-medicated oral health problem was toothache (55.6%), followed by other problems, and the most frequently used substance was analgesics (59%). 49.8% self-medicated due to lack of money for consulting a doctor and 45% of the population received advice from the pharmacist for self-medication.

Conclusion: The majority of those surveyed practiced self-medication using an array of drugs, e.g. analgesics, native herbs, antibiotics, etc, either alone or in combination. The main reason identified for self-medication was motivation from relatives and friends.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Counseling
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • India
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Mouth Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Pharmacies
  • Phytotherapy
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Medication / statistics & numerical data*
  • Toothache / drug therapy
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents