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Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Prof. Dr. Jean-François Roulet, Prof. Dr. Dr. Niklaus P. Lang, Prof. Dr. Palle Holmstrup

Official journal of the Academy of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, the World Congress of Microdentistry, and the European Society of Preventive Dentistry

ISSN (print) 1602-1622 • ISSN (online) 1757-9996


Summer 2005
Volume 3 , Issue 2

Pages: 119-125
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Self-Reported Toothache Experience in an Adult Population in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

Okunseri, Christopher / Hodges, James S. / Born, David

Purpose: This pilot study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of self-reported toothache, bleeding gums and oral ulcer experiences, reasons for dental visits and associated sociodemographic factors among adults living in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on a convenience sample in an urban setting. Out of the 540 persons surveyed, 508 had complete usable information, 48% males and 52% females, and aged 18 54 years. A closed questionnaire was used to collect the data at two large medical outpatient facilities and a university community. Results: The proportion reporting toothache experience in the previous 12 months was 34%; painful/bleeding gums 28%, and oral ulcers/painful spots 14%. Univariate analysis showed that toothache experience was associated with time since last dental visit (p < 0.001), age (p < 0.001), gender (p < 0.001) and education (p < 0.001). Experience with bleeding gums was associated with gender (p < 0.001), education (p < 0.001) and last dental visits (p < 0.001). Oral ulcers were associated with gender (p = 0.004), age (p < 0.001) and last dental visits (p < 0.001). Fewer males than females reported toothache (25% vs. 42%, OR 1.65) but more males reported bleeding gums (37% vs. 19%, OR = 0.34) and oral ulcers (19% vs. 10% OR = 0.33). Conclusions: Toothache experience was the most prevalent oral health problem reported by adults. Oral health problems were associated with age, gender and last dental visits.

Keywords: toothache, bleeding gums, oral ulcers, adults

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