Dental pain as a predictor of absenteeism among workers in a juice factory in southeastern Brazil

Pain is a public health problem responsible for loss of work days. The scope of this article is to analyze the prevalence of dental pain and absenteeism, and the possible association with social and demographic characteristics. This cross-sectional study involved a random sample of 169 individuals selected from a universe of 666 workers. Data was collected by a trained researcher using a structured questionnaire. Fisher's Exact Test verified the possible associations; the strength of the associations was verified by the Odds Ratio with 5% significance. The prevalence of dental pain was 46.7%, and absenteeism 12.7%. There was no association between dental pain and the variables analyzed, namely sex, age, income and education. With respect to absenteeism, the individuals with less years of instruction declared greater loss of work hours (OR = 8.850, IC95% = 2.114; 37.046). The prevalence of pain was considerable and was not associated with the controlled variables of this study. Dental pain observed was sufficient to lead to absenteeism, and this was associated with education. Periodic exams must be encouraged for diagnosis and early intervention, thereby minimizing episodes of dental pain.

Dental pain; Absenteeism; Occupational health; Public health

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