Ohrbach and his co-authors studied 71 different clinical variables in 1,633 controls -- individuals who never had TMD -- and in 185 people with chronic painful TMD. They assessed the individuals through lengthy questionnaires about health histories and current symptoms and through clinical exams. Participants were from Western New York, Maryland, North Carolina and Florida.
The UB researchers found that a very high rate of the variables they assessed, 59 out of 71, were significantly associated with painful TMD. "Our results indicate that individuals with TMD differ substantially from the controls across almost all of the variables we assessed," says Ohrbach.
TMD sufferers tended to have significantly higher levels of the following variables: trauma to the jaw, non-pain symptoms in the facial area, jaw locking and noises, and pain during such jaw movements as chewing, smiling or talking. Ohrbach notes that while the last two findings were clearly expected, very little has been known about the first two findings.
In particular, the UB researchers found that TMD sufferers reported a much higher rate of neural and sensory medical conditions, such as earaches, tinnitus or hearing loss, fainting and dizziness, as well as seizures due to epilepsy and other conditions.
Ohrbach said that the study also confirmed many findings that long have been associated with TMD but which have not, until now, been proven in a comprehensive, large-scale study.
Among these is the finding that any pain disorder, such as headache, backache and abdominal pain, is more likely to occur in TMD patients than in people who do not have TMD.
"Why are other pain disorders more common in people with TMD?" asks Ohrbach. "Is it because those pain conditions predispose them to develop TMD or do they develop TMD first and does TMD lead them to then develop other pain disorders?"
To answer these
|Contact: Ellen Goldbaum|
University at Buffalo