Dental Discomfort Questionnaire as an Assessment Tool in Detecting Early Childhood Caries

by Muhammad Nasrun Akmal Rosli, Murshidah Abdul Ghani, Salwana Supaat, Asst Prof. Dr.Azrul Fazwan Kharuddin, Yunita Dewi Ardini

Journal of International Dental and Medical Research, Vol 11, 1, 2018, Pages 143-148


Dental Discomfort Questionnaires (DDQ) is a set of toothache-related-behaviours questions designed by a group of paediatric dentist. This study aims to evaluate the relative dental discomfort among preschool children and to assess awareness of parents for toothache-related-behaviours in their children through DDQ.

A cross-sectional study was conducted at IIUM Dental Clinic and Kuantan area involving preschool children 5 years old and below in the period of 10 months from February until November 2016. This research was approved by the IIUM Research Ethic Committee (IREC). Inter-examiner reliability was tested with Kappa statistic (0.83). Participants‟ caries status was assessed using decayed-missing-filled teeth (dmft) and self-administered DDQ is filled out by their parents/caregivers.

Data entry and data analysis were done using SPSS and Amos® package version 23 with significance level set at p<0.05. 107 children were examined. Reliability score for behaviour section (DDQ-12) showed a high Cronbach‟s Alpha value of 0.721 while awareness section (DDQ-6) showed a moderate value of 0.326. According to model hypothesis, data showed a good structural equation modelling by goodness of fit between toothache and dmft mediated by behaviours (TLI: 0.674, CFI: 0.754, RMSEA: 0.116).

Behaviours concerning putting away sweet things after tasting (21%), bites with molar instead of front teeth (19%) and problems with brushing lower teeth (16%) were frequently reported toothache behaviours by the parents/caregivers. DDQ can act as a reliable tools in helping parents/caregivers and dentist in identifying toothache in young preschool children.

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