Can dental pain be a cause of irritability in children and family distress?
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This study aimed to evaluate the association between dental pain and both child irritability and family distress.
Subject and methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 833 children aged 3 to 5 years from preschools in the city of Campina Grande, Brazil. The parents answered questionnaires addressing socio-demographic data and history of dental pain. Child irritability and family distress were evaluated using questions from the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS). The children were submitted to clinical examinations by dentists who had undergone training and calibration exercises. All children were diagnosed with regard to dental caries, caries activity, traumatic dental injury, and malocclusion. Descriptive analysis was performed, followed by Poisson regression analysis (α = 5%).
The prevalence of child irritability due to oral problems was 16.1%. The prevalence of family distress was 19.1%. After the data analysis, only a history of dental pain remained associated in the final model for child irritability [prevalence ratio (PR) = 9.77; 95% confidence interval (CI): 6.22–15.33] and family distress due to oral problems (PR = 3.18; 95% CI: 2.34–4.31).
Dental pain can make a child irritable and cause family distress. Socio-economic factors do not exert an influence on the emergence of these feelings.
KeywordsOral health Child Dental caries Traumatic dental injury Malocclusion
This study was supported by the State University of Paraíba (UEPB), the Brazilian Coordination of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (CAPES), the Research Foundation of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG), and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ), Brazil.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study received approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the State University of Paraíba (approval no.: 00460133000-11) in compliance with Resolution 196/96 of the Brazilian National Health Council. The study was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. All parents/guardians received information regarding the objectives of the study and signed a statement of informed consent.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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