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Perception of toothache in adults from state capitals and interior cities within the Brazilian geographic regions

BMC Oral Health
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1186/1472-6831-13-35
  • Research Article
  • Economics


Background Studies emphasizing toothache in adulthood are scarce in Brazil. A greater understanding of both the prevalence and the self-perception of pain among individuals in this age group (35 to 44 years old) is important, especially considering that this is an economically active population. To describe reports of oral pain and oral pain-related aspects in from Brazilian state capitals and interior cities. Methods The sample comprised 9779 adults residing in the state capitals and interior cities from each Brazilian region in the SB Brazil 2010 report, regarding reports of oral pain and their intensity in the last 6 months. The descriptive analysis comparing pain reports between and within the regions and regression analysis of pain related to socioeconomic aspects per region were performed considering α=0.05 difference. Results The highest prevalence of pain was found in the Southeast region (p<0.01), and there was also difference between the state capitals and interior cities in the South (p<0.01), where the prevalence was higher in the capitals, and in the Southeast, where the higher prevalence was in the interior cities (p=0.03). The Northern region had lower pain intensity than the Southeast and Midwest. Comparing pain intensity, only the Northeast region showed statistical difference between state capitals and the interior cities for pain intensity, where the interior cities had higher pain intensity than the three state capitals. Regarding dental office visitations, the Southeast capitals have the highest prevalence (100%) compared to the North and South. The toothache impact on daily activities was as follows: eating difficulty (29.8% to 72.7%), uncomfortable teeth brushing (over 50%), and sleep disturbance (above 13%). Between the Brazilian regions the socioeconomic aspects differ in relation to the pain; the exception being the association between pain, dental care and income, which occurred in the 5 regions. Users of public dental care services were more likely to present pain, comparing to private dental services, OR ranging from 1.72 in the Northeast to 2.85 in the Southeast. Conclusion The prevalence of pain was higher among Brazilian adults, impacting some of the daily activities. The data also showed many differences in the prevalence and intensity of pain among both the Brazilian regions and the cities within the same region.

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