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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 37-43

Self-reported dental pain and dental caries among 8–12-year-old school children: An exploratory survey in Lagos, Nigeria

1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, LASUCOM, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health and Primary Health Care, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, LASUCOM, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Abiola A Adeniyi
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, P.O. Box 21266, Ikeja, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_7_17

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Background: Dental pain is considered an important public health problem because it affects the daily life of children. This study was designed to assess the prevalence, associated factors, and impact of dental pain among 8–12-year-old school children in Lagos, Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional survey to determine self-reported dental pain among 8–12-year-old school children using an interviewer-administered questionnaire was conducted. This was followed by a clinical examination to determine the child’s oral hygiene status and dental caries status. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used for comparing proportions. Binary logistic regression analysis was also conducted. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: Of the 414 children included in the survey, 254 (61.4%) children and 103 (24.9%) children reported experiencing dental pain 3 months and 4 weeks before the survey, respectively. Caries prevalence was 21.0%, whereas mean decayed, missing, and filled tooth index score was 0.4420 (±1.078). A report of pain up to 3 months before the survey was significantly associated with the child’s age [odds ratio (OR) = 1.254; confidence interval (CI) = 1.037–1.516; P = 0.019], whereas the type of school attended (OR = 1.786; CI = 1.124–2.840; P = 0.014) and the presence of dental caries (OR = 1.738; CI = 1.023–2.953; P = 0.041) were significantly associated with reporting pain 4 weeks before the survey. Conclusion: The prevalence of self-reported dental pain was high among the children surveyed. Report of dental pain was associated with the presence of dental caries. The provision of school oral health services could be useful in reducing the level of untreated caries and possibly dental pain among school children.

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