Mental and psychosocial predictors of toothache in Brazilian dam rupture: a cross-sectional study

Paula Carolina Mendes Santos, Marco Antonio Valente Roque, Andre Augusto Correa de Freitas, Brian Sabato, Ana Cristina Borges-Oliveira, Frederico Duarte Garcia, Maila de Castro Lourenco das Neves


Introduction: The burst of Fundão's dam in Mariana, Brazil, was one of the most significant technological disasters and, for instance, may be associated with negative consequences in oral and mental health. Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the toothache prevalence and the associated factors in disaster survivors. Method: This research is an observational, cross-sectional study carried out as a health household survey with the Mariana dam rupture survivors. Results: the study included 225 adults; age mean 45.5±17.8 years. In univariate analysis, the prevalence of toothache was 16.9% and was higher in women (20.1% versus 11.1%, p= 0.097) subjects with generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) (57.9% versus 25.8%, p≥0.0001), major depressive disorder (MDD) (50 versus 24.6%, p=0.003), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (26.3 versus 9%, p=0.006), a lower social support satisfaction (SSSS). Multivariate Data Analysis (MVA) results reveal how individuals dissatisfied with their oral appearance were 3.2 times more likely to present with toothaches (p=0.004, 95% CI-1.46-7.02). Of those affected by the disaster, survivors diagnosed with GAD were 2.5 times more likely to present tooth aches (p=0.019, 95% CI=1.16-5.48). Ultimately, the likelihood of an individual presenting with toothaches after the disaster rose to 4% to each point in the SSSS (p.=0.026,95% CI=1.005-1.081). Conclusion: We found that post-disaster survivors in Brazil presented with an elevated prevalence of toothache, and this oral symptom correlated with other dental impairments, anxiety disorder, and social support.


Oral health, mental health, disaster survivors

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