Problem behaviour and traumatic dental injuries in adolescents.


AIM: To explore the relationship between problem behaviour and traumatic dental injuries (TDI) among 15- to 16-year-old schoolchildren from East London. METHODS: This cross-sectional study used data from 794 adolescents who participated in phase III of the Research with East London Adolescents Community Health Survey (RELACHS), a school-based prospective study of a representative sample of adolescents. Participants completed a questionnaire and were clinically examined for TDI, overjet and lip coverage. The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used to assess problem behaviour, which provided a total score and five domain scores (emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems and pro-social behaviour). The association between problem behaviour and TDI was assessed in unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models. Adjusted models controlled for demographic (sex, age and ethnicity), socio-economic (parental employment) and clinical factors (overjet and lip coverage). RESULTS: The prevalence of TDI was 17% and the prevalence of problem behaviour, according to the SDQ, was 10%. In the adjusted model, adolescents with problem behaviour were 1.87 (95% confidence interval: 1.03-3.37) times more likely to have TDI than those without problem behaviour. In subsequent analysis by SDQ domains, it was found that only peer problems were associated with TDI (OR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.01-3.14), even after adjustment for confounders. CONCLUSION: This study found evidence for a relationship between problem behaviour and TDI among adolescents, which was mainly due to peer relationship problems.