OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of facial pain and to examine the hypothesis that symptoms are associated with socio-demographic, dental, adverse psychological factors and pain elsewhere in the body.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross-sectional population data were obtained from UK Biobank (www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/) study which was conducted in 2006 - 2010 and recruited over 500,000 people.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of facial pain (FP) was 1.9% (women 2.4%, men 1.2%) of which 48% was chronic. The highest prevalence was found in the 51 - 55 age group (2.2%) and the lowest in the 66 - 73 age group (1.4%). There was a difference in prevalence by ethnicity (0.8% and 2.7% in persons reporting themselves as Chinese and Mixed respectively). Prevalence of FP significantly associated with all measures of social class with the most deprived and on lowest income showing the highest prevalence (2.5% and 2.4% respectively). FP was more common in individuals who rated themselves as extremely unhappy, had history of depression and reported sleep problems. Smoking associated with increase in reporting FP while alcohol consumption had inverse association. FP associated with history of painful gums, toothache and all types of regional pain.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the largest ever study to provide estimates of facial pain prevalence. It demonstrates unique features (lower prevalence than previously reported) and common features (more common in women) and confirms multifactorial aetiology of facial pain. Significant association with psychological distress and a strong relationship to pain elsewhere in the body suggests that aetiology is not specific to this regional pain.
- facial pain
- orofacial pain
- risk factors