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Self-reported dental pain in Mexican schoolchildren: a national ecological study

  • Víctor Jesús Delgado-Pérez1
  • Elías Nahum Salmerón-Valdez1
  • Norma Leticia Robles-Bermeo1
  • Salvador Eduardo Lucas Rincón2
  • Mario I. Ortiz3
  • Rubén de la Rosa-Santillana2
  • Alejandro José Casanova-Rosado4
  • Martha Mendoza-Rodríguez2
  • Carlo Eduardo Medina-Solis1,2,*,
  • Gerardo Maupomé5

1Advanced Studies and Research Centre in Dentistry “Dr. Keisaburo Miyata” of School of Dentistry at Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, 50130 Toluca, EM, Mexico

2Academic Area of Dentistry of Health Sciences Institute at Autonomous University of Hidalgo State, 42130 Pachuca, HG, Mexico

3Academic Area of Medicine of Health Sciences Institute at Autonomous University of Hidalgo State, 42130 Pachuca, HG, Mexico

4School of Dentistry, Autonomous University of Campeche, 24039 Campeche, CM, Mexico

5Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University/Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2024.057 Vol.48,Issue 3,May 2024 pp.37-45

Submitted: 25 May 2023 Accepted: 10 August 2023

Published: 03 May 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Carlo Eduardo Medina-Solis E-mail:


The objective of this study was to quantify the prevalence of and identify the factors associated with dental pain among elementary- and middle-school students in Mexico. An ecological study was carried out with data from the 2008 National School-based Student-Health Survey. Information on dental pain from schoolchildren (aged 5 to 16 years) was collected from public schools across the 32 states of Mexico. In the original study, a questionnaire was used to explore various factors that affect the oral and dental health status of schoolchildren. The outcome variable was the prevalence rate (for dental pain) reported at state level. Various contextual socioeconomic variables were included, in addition to dental caries. Analyses were performed using Stata software. 52.9% of interviewees were girls; 26.9% of male and female schoolchildren in Mexico experienced gum or dental pain during the period analyzed (95% Confidence Interval = 26.02, 27.77%); according to the Spearman correlation results, self-reported dental pain was unrelated (p > 0.05) to the socioeconomic and sociodemographic variables that make up the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development (HDI), as well as the marginalization and the Gini indices. However, the estimated percentages of self-reported dental pain and caries were positively correlated in the elementary- (r = 0.8958, p < 0.0001), middle-school (r = 0.8958, p < 0.0001) and total populations (r = 0.8542, p < 0.0001). Prevalence of self-reported dental pain was 28%, or about one in three, of the Mexican children and adolescents in the study sample. The state-level sociodemographic and socioeconomic risk indicators were not associated with the prevalence of dental pain. Self-reported caries was positively correlated with self-reported dental pain.


Oral health; Dental pain; Caries; Children; Survey; Mexico

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Víctor Jesús Delgado-Pérez,Elías Nahum Salmerón-Valdez,Norma Leticia Robles-Bermeo,Salvador Eduardo Lucas Rincón,Mario I. Ortiz,Rubén de la Rosa-Santillana,Alejandro José Casanova-Rosado,Martha Mendoza-Rodríguez,Carlo Eduardo Medina-Solis,Gerardo Maupomé. Self-reported dental pain in Mexican schoolchildren: a national ecological study. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2024. 48(3);37-45.


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