Very little is known about children's everyday pains and dental treatment pains. A child's gender, age, and level of dental anxiety are factors that could interplay with the perception of pain and are thus worth studying.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the frequency and reported intensity levels of children's everyday- and dental-pain experiences, and to study the reported pains in relation to gender, age, and dental anxiety.
Three hundred and sixty-eight consecutive patients (8-19 years, mean age 13.5 years) from three different Public Dental Service were recruited. Pain ratings were obtained using McGrath's Children's Pain Inventory list and some additional items. Dental anxiety was estimated by the Dental Anxiety Scale.
Most frequently experienced everyday pains were headache and tummy/stomach ache. Among dental treatment events, dental injection was reported to be most often ranked as painful, and more frequently by girls. Both dental and everyday pains were rated higher grouping children with high dental anxiety.
The frequency of pain experiences are the same in Swedish children as in other populations. There is a relation between dental anxiety and the perception of pain.