Racial differences in orofacial pain

Academic Article


  • This study investigated racial differences in the subjective report of orofacial pain in a stratified sample of adults dwelling in the community. The subjects were 724 participants in the Florida Dental Care Study, a longitudinal study of oral health among dentate adults aged 45 years and older at baseline. Pain prevalence and subjective ratings were assessed for a range of orofacial pain sites by means of a standardized telephone interview. The results suggest that white respondents were more likely to report painful oral sores than were black respondents (19.0% vs 6.3%). As was consistent with findings from patients seeking health care and laboratory-based experimental pain studies, a higher percentage of black subjects rated pain as severe enough to have an impact on behavior for temperature sensitivity (59.6% vs 30.3%), pain when chewing (70.0% vs 40.0%), and painful oral sores (53.8% vs 27.9%). These racial differences were most apparent within male sex for temperature sensitivity, pain when chewing, and toothache pain, with black men rating pain as more severe than white men. For jaw joint pain and painful oral sores, both black and white women rated pain as more severe than did white men. This study has documented race by sex interactions in the impact from orofacial pain across multiple symptoms in a community-based sample. © 2002 by the American Pain Society.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Journal of Pain  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Riley JL; Gilbert GH
  • Start Page

  • 284
  • End Page

  • 291
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 4