Six‐year trends in dental pain and maternal education inequalities among Brazilian adolescents

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The prevalence of dental pain increased from 17.5percent (95% CI = 16.9‐18.2) in 2009 to 20.4% (95 percent CI = 19.7‐21.1) at 2012, then to 21.8% (95 percent CI = 21.1‐22.5) at 2015. All factors investigated were correlated with dental aid in most survey years. There was an increasing proportion of the outcome in most types of maternal schooling over the years studied. Total (SII) and relative (RCI) inequalities in regards to maternal schooling were discovered; these indicate higher levels of dental pain at the lower socioeconomic group in each study year. No significant changes in inequalities were found in 2009 to 2015.


To examine trends in dental pain prevalence among Brazilian teen pupils over 6 years, focusing on inequalities by maternal schooling.


Information from the National Adolescent School‐Based Health Survey (PeNSE) carried out from 2009 (n = 45 239), 2012 (n = 46 482) and 2015 (n = 35 592) were assessed, including ninth grade students in the 27 state capitals from Brazil who had been of ages 11‐17 years or old. Variables analysed were dental pain over the last 6 months (yes/no) along with the following sociodemographic variables: age, gender, race, type of college and maternal schooling (years of study: ≤8; 9‐11; ≥12). The incidence of dental pain in the 3 years was compared with all the Rao‐Scott test. Relative and absolute measures of socioeconomic (maternal education) inequalities in dental pain have been applied utilizing the slope index of inequality (SII) and the relative concentration index (RCI).
The incidence of dental pain increased in the 2009‐2012 and 2012‐2015 periods, and social inequalities were found. Higher levels of dental discomfort persisted at the lower maternal schooling group. Inequalities remained stable over time. Broader actions to decrease the present inequalities are needed and must be a priority to public policies.

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