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Pediatr Dent. 2012 Jul-Aug;34(4):e77-80.

The comparative morbidities of acute dental pain and acute asthma on quality of life in children.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



The purpose of this prospective cross-section survey study was to examine the comparative burden of acute exacerbations of the two most common chronic illnesses of childhood: acute dental pain and acute asthma.


All patients came from one of three distinct clinics within Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio: (1) outpatient dental clinic; (2) urgent medical care unit; or (3) emergency department. Caregivers were asked information about their child's condition and the impact on their daily function.


A total of 112 parent-child dyads were included in this study. Children were significantly more likely to be under the care of a physician for asthma than a dentist for caries (P<.001). More caregivers worried about their child's overall health due to dental caries than asthma-related symptoms (P<.001). Two thirds of children had pain due to dental caries, which kept them from sleeping; 45% were prevented from playing; 45% were prevented from going to school; and 68% from eating in the preceding week.


Acute dental disease had a comparative and, in some aspects, greater impact on a child's quality of life than acute asthma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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