PMID: 11918576Mar 29, 2002Paper

Oro-facial pain in the community: prevalence and associated impact

Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Tatiana V MacfarlaneHelen V Worthington

Abstract

To determine the prevalence of oro-facial pain (OFP) in the population and within-population subgroups and to describe the associated disability. Cross-sectional population study. General medical practice in South East Cheshire, United Kingdom. A random sample of 4000 adults aged 18-65 years of whom 2504 responded (adjusted participation rate 74%). The overall prevalence of OFP was 26% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 24%, 28%). The prevalence of symptoms was higher in women (30%) than in men (21%) and in both sexes the highest (30%) prevalence was found in the 18-25 year age group and the lowest (22%) in the 56-65 age group. Of all the participants, 12% had pain in or around the eyes, 10% reported pain in and around the temples, 6% pain in front of the ears and 6% pain in the jaw joints. Only 46% of the participants with OFP had sought professional advice from a dentist or general medical practitioner and 17% had to take time off work or were unable to carry out normal activities because of pain. OFP is a common symptom experienced by a quarter of the adult population, of whom only 46% seek treatment. The prevalence is higher in women and younger age groups.

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