Objective To assess the prevalence of missing and damaged teeth among women in the rural southern plains of Nepal using an interviewer-administered tooth assessment module. Setting 21wards in seven Village Development Committees across the Tarai of Nepal in 2015. Participants Resident, married women of children less than 5 years of age or those married in the 2 years prior to the survey, 14 to 49 years of age participating in a mid-year nutrition and health survey in the Tarai region of Nepal. Outcome measures Prevalence of missing and damaged teeth, history of dental problems, oral hygiene practices, access to dental treatment and risk factors for missing and damaged teeth. Results Of 3007 assessed women, aged 14 to 49 years of age, 22.8% (95% CI: 21.4–24.4) reported ≥ 1 missing or damaged teeth; 81.5% (95% CI 80.1–82.9) reported regularly practicing oral hygiene, typically with standard local dentifrices. Pain or discomfort in the oral cavity in the previous 6 months affected 17.6% of women. Among these, 43.8% had sought treatment from a dental facility, pharmacy or village doctor. Home remedies were commonly applied to relieve pain. Conclusion Broken and missing teeth are common, affecting nearly one-quarter of adult women of reproductive age in rural Southern Nepal, as assessed by an interviewer-administered questionnaire.
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