Untreated Dental Caries Is Associated with Reports of Verbal Bullying in Children 8-10 Years Old

Caries Res 2017;51:482-488


The objective of this research was to verify the association between verbal bullying and untreated dental caries. The present cross-sectional study had a representative sample of 1,589 children, aged 8-10 years, from public schools. Information on verbal bullying related to the oral condition was obtained through a questionnaire directed to the students. Clinical data were collected by 4 calibrated examiners (kappa > 0.70) using the DMFT/dmft and PUFA/pufa indexes for caries. Socioeconomic issues were answered by those responsible. The prevalence of verbal bullying related to the oral condition was 27%. The results of the Poisson regression, in an adjusted multiple model, showed a significant association between bullying and untreated caries lesions (prevalence ratio, PR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.07-1.52), PUFA/pufa index (PR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.11-1.61), pulp involvement (PR: 1.35; 95% CI: 1.09-1.67), and abscess (PR: 1.74; 95% CI: 1.18-2.56). It was concluded that children with untreated dental caries had a higher prevalence of verbal bullying when compared to caries-free or disease-treated children.