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Volume 20 , Issue 4
Fall 2006

Pages 297–305

The Impact of Oral Pain on Quality of Life During Pregnancy in Low-Income Brazilian Women

Branca Heloisa de Oliveira, PhD / Paulo Nadanovsky, PhD

PMID: 17190028

Aims: To assess the effects of oral pain on oral health–related quality of life during pregnancy and document measures taken by pregnant women seeking relief for oral pain. Their experience of other types of pain were also investigated. Methods: A sample of pregnant women who were admitted to a public hospital to give birth were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. Those who agreed were asked if they had experienced any pain due to problems with their mouth, teeth, or dentures during the 6 months prior to the interviews. Interviewees who answered affirmatively were questioned about the effects of this pain on their normal activities with the Oral Impacts on Daily Performances (OIDP) tool. Results: The study population consisted of 504 subjects (83% of the eligible individuals). A high prevalence of untreated dental caries was found. The prevalences of oral pain, headaches, back pain, and pelvic pain were 39.1%, 61.5%, 59.3%, and 60.9%, respectively. Of those reporting pain, 168 (33.3%) reported having had difficulty doing at least one of the activities included in the OIDP due to oral pain. The most frequently mentioned effects were difficulty in maintaining emotional balance (23.6%), difficulty eating (22.8%), and difficulty cleaning teeth (20%). The mean and median OIDP scores were 13.9% and 8.0%, respectively. Conclusion: Oral pain during pregnancy was an important problem for this group of women and had a negative effect on their quality of life. J Orofac Pain 2006;20:297–305

Key words: oral health, pain, pregnancy, quality of life, toothache

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