Prevalence of dental pain and its relationship to caries experience in school children of Udupi district

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Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence of dental pain and its relationship to caries experience in 10–15-year-old school children of Udupi district of India.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Udupi district among 10–15-year-old school children. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on age, gender, type of school, location and socioeconomic status followed by Child Dental Pain Questionnaire. This was followed by clinical examination for dental caries.

Results: A total of 306 children participated in the study; of whom, 56.5 % were ≤12 years old, 58.8 % were males, 50.7 % attended a government school and 54.9 % were from urban areas. The prevalence of dental pain was 35 %. Only gender showed significant association with presence of tooth pain (p = 0.027). A total of 14.3 % reported mild pain, 8.8 % reported moderate pain and 11.7 % reported severe pain. Almost half of the study participants (45.1 %) had experienced dental caries. The mean scores of each subscale and total scale scores were significantly higher among caries-experienced than among caries-free children (p = 0.017, 0.043, 0.022 and 0.02, respectively). There was significant weak positive correlation of global single item question with prevalence (r = 0.115, p = 0.045), severity (r = 0.146, p = 0.010) impact subscales (r = 0.117, p = 0.040) and total scale (r = 0.144, p = 0.012).

Conclusion: The substantial effect that dental pain has on adolescents indicates an urgent need for public health strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-375
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Archives of Paediatric Dentistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)

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