Prevalence of self-reported dental pain and associated factors among eight- to ten-year-old Brazilian schoolchildren

PLoS One. 2019 Apr 8;14(4):e0214990. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214990. eCollection 2019.


Aim: To assess the prevalence of self-reported dental pain and its association with sociodemographic, clinical and behavioral/psychosocial indicators among 8- to 10-year-old Brazilian schoolchildren.

Design: A cross-sectional study was carried out with 1,589 eight- to ten-year-old children randomly selected from public schools of Florianopolis, Brazil. Self-reports of dental pain were collected through a single question as follows: "In the last month, how many times have you had pain in your teeth?" Caries experience was determined by the DMFT/dmft index and its clinical consequences by the PUFA/pufa index. Dental trauma, dental fluorosis and molar-incisor hypomineralization were assessed through the Andreasen, Dean and European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry classifications, respectively. Clinical signs of dental erosion were also observed. Sociodemographic indicators were obtained through a questionnaire answered by the children's caregivers. Information about behavioral/psychosocial indicators was collected through questions from the Brazilian version of the Child Perception Questionnaire 8-10 years (CPQ8-10). Descriptive analysis, chi-square test, and hierarchically adjusted Poisson regression models were performed.

Results: 819 children (51.5%) reported episodes of dental pain in the last month prior to the study, whereas 55.6% (n = 509) were girls. The presence of dental pain was significantly associated with sex, trouble sleeping, difficulty eating, school absenteeism, difficulty with paying attention in class, difficulty doing homework, staying away from recreational activities, caries experience, PUFA/pufa index and ulceration (p<0.05).

Conclusion: The prevalence of self-reported dental pain in 8- to 10- year-old Brazilian schoolchildren was high and was associated with sociodemographic, clinical and behavioral/psychosocial indicators.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Enamel Hypoplasia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Fluorosis, Dental / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Self Report*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Toothache / epidemiology*

Grant support

This study was supported by the Brazilian Coordination of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (CAPES) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ), Brazil. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.