Psychological conditions may increase TMD pain risk, new study finds

Psychological conditions, pain disorders, sleep disorders and orofacial symptoms can increase the risk of developing first-onset temporomandibular disorders, according to a study published by The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Researchers analyzed potential risk contributors of 2,737 participants of the Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment data set.

They found people with any psychological conditions, pain disorders, sleep disorders or orofacial symptoms had a higher chance of developing first-onset TMD. Coexisting conditions from multiple body systems substantially increase the risk of developing TMD pain, the study found.

"To address both orofacial and general health risk factors, the evaluation and prevention of TMD should go beyond the orofacial region," said Hong Chen, DDS, co-author of the study and assistant professor at Iowa City-based University of Iowa College of Dentistry. "Given that oral health is an important component of systemic health, pain and dysfunction in the masticatory system should be evaluated in the context of the whole body. In this regard, dentists, physicians and other healthcare professionals should work together to increase prevention for TMD and improve the quality of care for patients suffering orofacial pain."

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