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Increasing gender differences in the prevalence and chronification of orofacial pain in the population

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Justin DurhamORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Although a fluctuating pattern of orofacial pain across the life span has been proposed, data on its natural course are lacking. The longitudinal course of orofacial pain in the general population was evaluated using data from routine dental check-ups at all Public Dental Health services in Västerbotten, Sweden. In a large population sample, 2 screening questions were used to identify individuals with pain once a week or more in the orofacial area. Incidence and longitudinal course of orofacial pain were evaluated using annual data for 2010 to 2017. To evaluate predictors for orofacial pain remaining over time, individuals who reported pain on at least 2 consecutive dental check-ups were considered persistent. A generalized estimating equation model was used to analyze the prevalence, accounting for repeated observations on the same individuals. In total, 180,308 individuals (equal gender distribution) were examined in 525,707 dental check-ups. More women than men reported orofacial pain (odds ratio 2.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.48-2.68), and there was a significant increase in the prevalence of reported pain from 2010 to 2017 in both women and men. Longitudinal data for 135,800 individuals were available for incidence analysis. Women were at higher risk of both developing orofacial pain (incidence rate ratio 2.37; 95% CI 2.25-2.50) and reporting pain in consecutive check-ups (incidence rate ratio 2.56; 95% CI 2.29-2.87). In the northern Swedish population studied, the prevalence of orofacial pain increases over time and more so in women, thus indicating increasing differences in gender for orofacial pain.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Häggman-Henrikson B, Liv P, Ilgunas A, Visscher CM, Lobbezoo F, Durham J, Lövgren A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pain

Year: 2020

Volume: 161

Issue: 8

Pages: 1768-1775

Online publication date: 01/08/2020

Acceptance date: 12/03/2020

Date deposited: 12/10/2021

ISSN (print): 0304-3959

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6623

Publisher: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001872

PubMed id: pmc7365674


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