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Toothache and associated factors in Brazilian adults: a cross-sectional population-based study

Author(s): Kuhnen Mirian | Peres Marco | Masiero Anelise | Peres Karen

Journal: BMC Oral Health
ISSN 1472-6831

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Toothache is a dental public health problem and one of the predictors of dental attendance and it is strongly associated with the life quality of individuals. In spite of this, there are few population-based epidemiological studies on this theme. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of toothache and associated factors in adults of Lages, Southern Brazil. Methods A cross-sectional population-based study was carried out in a sample of 2,022 adults aged 20 to 59 years living in the urban area of a medium sized city in Southern Brazil. A questionnaire including socioeconomic, demographic, smoking, alcohol, and use of dental service variables was applied at adults household. Toothache occurred six months previous of the interview was considered the outcome. Poisson regression analyses were performed following a theoretical hierarchical framework. All analysis was adjusted by the sample design effect. Results The response rate was 98.6%. The prevalence of toothache was 18.0% (95% CI 16.0; 20.1). The following variables were associated with toothache after adjustment: female (PR = 1.3 95% CI 1.3; 2.0), black skin colour vs. whites (PR = 1.5 95% CI 1.1, 1.9), low per capita income (PR = 1.7 95% CI 1.2, 2.3), smokers (PR = 1.5 95% CI 1.2, 1.9) and those who reported alcohol problems (PR = 1.4 95% CI 1.1; 1.9). To be 40 years of age (PR = 0.5 95% CI 0.4, 0.7) and use dental service in the last year (RR = 0.5 95% CI 0.4, 0.6) were protective factors for toothache. Conclusion The prevalence of toothache in adults of Lages can be considered a major problem of dental public health.
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